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LMA Annual Conference – 2015

We all attend professional conferences. Some are close-knit groups, such as the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference; others will have 10s of thousands in attendance, and take over a whole city (ACC Annual Meeting, CES, NRF’s Big Show).

Sometimes we will know no one attending, other times hundreds due to our level of involvement in the organization.

No matter how many people you know or don’t know, speaker or not, first time attendee or not, you need to prepare to maximize the time you will be there, and out of the office.

I start to prepare for a conference  approximately two weeks or so before my departure. When I say I do these things, I really do them, and I coach others to do so as well for one reason: They work.
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circle of networkingAs I make the rounds of speaking to my partners about their 2013 plans the topic of “What conferences and industry events are you looking at attending?” will definitely be a key point of conversation. Once I get their list, I’ll follow up with, “Have you attended this event in the past?” And then, “Can

I’m speaking on a webinar next month with Ed Poll and Kevin O’Keefe. I’ll have more details on that once everything is finalized. The topic of social networking and advertising came up, and it got me thinking. Social media isn’t advertising, per se, but it is migrating into an umbrella term for everything we

Next month I’ll be speaking at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference on … drum roll, please … Social Media Strategies for Small to Mid-Sized Law Firms (along with the esteemed Jayne Navarre and Russ Lawson).

In addition, I have partners speaking or attending conferences across the country on issues that impact their client base. So, I really appreciated Jaffe PR‘s latest newsletter post: The Event Isn’t Over Once You’ve Finished Speaking.

The best way is to create a follow-up plan prior to attending and implement it immediately following the event. Prior to attending the event, ask the conference organizer what kind of information can be shared with you.  Sometimes speakers are given full contact information and allowed a one-time use; other times this information is only available to sponsors.  If that’s the case, you and your firm may decide a small sponsorship is worth it.

  • If you are able to reach out to attendees prior to the event, have a plan for when you follow up and decide what information you will give them to continue the conversation.
  • Network — as much as you can.  Talk to the people who attended your presentation, get business cards, connect with them on LinkedIn.  You never know what might lead to new business.
  • Draft a brief summary of the event and post it to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Use Twitter to reference your presentation and post a link to it.
  • Send a summary of the event, with a presentation link to clients that you think might be interested.
  • Participate in any post-event activities that the conference has planned and stay in touch with the conference organizer for future engagements.

I’m going to add a few more bullets to this list:
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