It was a great first day at the Legal Marketing Association annual conference in Las Vegas. We’ve seen many old friends, met some new ones, and are trading our expertise with fellow attendees. Here’s a recap of some of the sessions:

In a great keynote presentation, Yale University marketing professor Zoe Chance talked about how to understand two types of brains in your target market — the alligator and the judge brain. While the judge brain is calm and reasoned, the alligator brain is lazy until something piques its interest, then it snaps to a decision.

In “From Mad Men to Math Men – Why The Rise of Digital Makes Data the New Imperative,” VutureGroup CEO David Brady led a panel talking about the importance of tracking metrics behind your advertising — even if it’s as basic as Google Analytics or LinkedIn metrics. At least you won’t be flying blind.

At the “Developing a Long-Term Digital Strategy” presentation, One North Interactive’s Kalev Peekna discussed making small changes to a large project over time, rather than one big change. Don’t “feature hoard” by demanding every feature in the current website be replicated in the new website — make sure those features are actually used and are valuable.

The “Your Honor Awards PechaKucha Returns” session was a fast-paced (five speakers, 20 seconds per slide auto-advancing) affair showcasing some innovative marketing initiatives from firms such as K&L Gates and Kelley Kronenberg.

Of particular interest to us was “Website Development War Stories: Encountering Adversity and Developing Solutions,” where friend-of-LISI Robert Algeri of GreatJakes moderated a panel discussing how to structure a website-development process from the inside of a firm to getting a project through to completion. Amy Knapp, who served as the outsourced CMO for the firm Amin Talati Upadhye, stressed marketing committee ground rules so the project doesn’t go awry (which never happens at LISI, of course …)

The final educational event of the day (cocktails by the pool followed the last session) was “Marketing for Consumer-based Law Practices.” In this presentation attorneys Mark A. Chinn of the Mississippi firm of Chinn & Associates and Steven Mindel of the California firm of Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt & Klein discussed how to ‘touch every base’ of marketing a direct-to-consumer practice, such as family law or personal injury. Pro tip: Write down your top 25 referral sources and call the top 10 to ask, “Why do you send me business?” You’ll be rewarded with great insights.

On to day two!