I just got back a few weeks ago from the Legal Marketing Association annual conference. This year it was in Hollywood, Florida. We had about 1100 attendees, which is up from the pandemic because last year there were about 850 attendees. The year before, which was really during the pandemic, there were only about 350. We’ve been known to have 1400 or 1500, so the conference is definitely back in what will be full swing next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if we surpass pre-pandemic numbers because of the quality of this conference.
Do You Send Your People To Conferences?
If you have any trepidation about sending your marketing and business development people at every level to these conferences because you are worried that they appear to be a bit of a boondoggle because what you know of conferences is that they’re typically in really nice places with really nice meals, with really nice weather (not always, actually) and that your people are just going to be playing around and it’s not really serious, I want you to know that is not the best way to think about these conferences.
Your Choice: Blog or Podcast
If you would also like to listen to my 2-minute, 42-second episode of Legal Marketing Moments where this blog post originated, you can either click the green play button below or click here if you are reading this via email. If you prefer to read this via blog post, I have rewritten and expanded upon the podcast as a blog post below for you. If that’s you, keep scrolling.
Conferences Are Not Gifts
What you need to know is that these are not gifts. Perhaps you have a limited budget and set a policy that you don’t invest in conferences for anybody until, you name it, their second year or third year, or whatever that might be. That is a different story, and we can talk about that because education and networking shouldn’t necessarily be the first things to go when budgets are tight. Again, I know there are exceptions, so let’s talk about that offline.
Conference Education Is Critical
What I do want you to know is that conferences like these are critical to the development of your people. Development in terms of their knowledge and staying ahead of what’s going on in the profession because we’re sometimes very isolated in the legal profession. If you only study what is going on within your own firms, don’t expect your people to be able to naturally and quickly expand their horizons because they’re going to have to spend a lot of personal time studying.
When we go to these conferences, we do the opposite. Our eyes are opened. We develop relationships, and many of them will last for decades, if not a lifetime. Of course, they are probably in really nice locations, but don’t let that stop you from sending your business and legal professionals to conferences.
These are not gifts. These are a necessity.
Help Your Business Professionals Continue To Develop
If you want your peoples’ minds and skills to grow, expand, and become more polished, precise, focused, and more strategic, then you should consider making conference attendance a requirement.
If you have professionals who can’t travel, then encourage them to find high-quality virtual marketing and business development conferences, but I encourage you to create an environment that encourages and accepts regular attendance at conferences like the LMA Annual Conference. Your team of business and legal professionals will become even smarter, and that is always a good thing, isn’t it?
Remember, conferences are a necessity, they’re not gifts.
If you have any questions, let me know.
Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers grow their practices by integrating the right marketing practices in order to build their reputations and their relationships, which leads to building their practices.
Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, Nancy is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social, and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter, making them more relevant to their current and potential clients.
She is also a personal branding speaker, trainer, and advisor, helping legal and business professionals understand the importance and the impact of defining and reinforcing their personal brand.
Nancy is also the founder of the hybrid self-study and online course, LinkedIn Course For Lawyers, where she personally guides lawyers through the sequential creation of their LinkedIn profile and presence.
As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, and livestreaming. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.
She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.