I am on my way to Atlanta to attend the premier annual educational and networking event for legal marketing professionals and industry partners. The Legal Marketing Association annual conference is where over 1,500 professionals convene for three days to share insights, explore best practices, and discuss trends. Beyond that, the conference is a place to connect with old and new friends and be among like-minded marketers working to elevate their firms and companies to the next level through innovation. So, what am I looking forward to most?

Pre-Conference Workshop: Rise of Legal Marketing Technologist

Being a digital marketing and technology entrepreneur, this session piqued my interest immediately. The pre-conference workshops are always offer great information and an intensive immersion into a specific topic. I try to attend one every year (and highly recommend you do too!)

I look forward to hearing from session co-chair and fellow Philadelphia LSC member, John T. Witts, Senior Marketing Technology Manager at Drinker Biddle & Reath, as well as our other Philadelphia colleague, Cheryl Disch, Senior Manager, Marketing Information Systems at Duane Morris, who will share a review of ILTA’s Legal Marketing Technology Survey. Other topics throughout the day include sessions on data visualization, mobile apps, web accessibility, and SEO strategy. This workshop is sure to be one of the highlights of the conference for me.

Day 1: The Keynote

Am I the only one who feels as if keynotes are directed just to me? As in, on stage is a motivational speaker who is tapping into my deepest thoughts about how to be innovative, inspirational, and entrepreneurial, and he or she is seemingly talking just to me. I am repeatedly stirred to act on the key takeaways from the opening keynote and keep them in mind throughout the conference. Because, let’s be honest, the conference planning committee knows what they are doing. They selected this speaker to open up the conference for a reason.

This year’s keynote is titled, “We Can All Be Movement Starters,” and Jennifer Dulski, Head of Groups and Community at Facebook, is the presenter. I am eager to hear her stories of the common traits and actions of leaders who are able to define a clear vision, rally people to their cause, and inspire a movement.

Day 1: Leveraging Data

Also on day one, my friend and former Philadelphia LSC Chair, Robyn Addis, will present with Andrew Hutchison, VP of Sales and Marketing at OnePlace, and Brian Conway, Associate Director of Business Development and Marketing Operations at McDermott Will & Emery, a session titled “How to Use the Right Data, Right. Validate Initiatives, Create Transparency, and Engage Your Fee Earners.” Robyn and her co-presenters will discuss practical steps for collecting, analyzing, and leveraging data to make a difference. While their intended audience is likely in-house legal marketers, I see application for their tips and best practices for all of us across the industry. I wouldn’t miss this one!

Day 2: The GC Panel

Every year this conference features a panel of in-house and general counsel from some of the largest corporations in the country. This year is no different, with speakers from Home Depot, Volvo Financial Services, and DHL Supply Chair Americas. What makes this session great, in my opinion, is that while we often hear many of the same messages year over year, (i.e. “proactive communication is key,” “tell me what I need to know and how it’s going to impact me, not just blanket me with marketing emails,” “relationships are everything in this business,” and so much more), there are two important reasons to invite the GCs back:

  1. Those of us who attend the conference every year are used to hearing these messages. But for some attendees, whether junior in their careers, or first-time conference goers, this is actually the first time hearing these messages straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. And these messages bear repeating, over, and over again.
  2. It’s a rare opportunity to pull back the curtain on how their industries are evolving, and understand more deeply how law firms, and (of particular importance to me) the service providers who support them, can add value and make an impact.

Believe it or not, this session is not simply beneficial to the in-house teams who attend this conference. For the leader of a service partner like me, it’s like getting a glimpse of the “secret formula” and figuring out ways I can help my colleagues and clients in law firms better target, support, and provide superior customer service to their clients.

Day 2: Other highlights

There are a number of top-notch programs slotted on day two, including:

  • “Can we Learn from Uber, Amazon and Other and Use Data to Give People What They Actually Want From a Law Firm Website?”
  • “Market Positioning: The First Step in Differentiating Your Firm
  • “CRM Therapy —The (Juris) Doctor Is In: Client CRM Confessions” (co-presented by the always-awesome Jacqueline Madarang)

Stick with me during the conference. I will be live tweeting throughout the sessions, providing updates and key insights from some of the industry’s most notable speakers. And stay tuned after the conference for my annual conference recap where I outline all the major takeaways and ideas I plan to put into practice back at home.

One more thing!

I also want to offer a special congratulations to my fellow LMA Northeast Region Philadelphia LSC members who have a major role to play at this year’s conference:

  • Andrew Laver, Business Development Manager at Buchanan Ingersoll and 2019 Conference Co-Chair
  • Rob Kates, Owner, Kates Media, who will once again be facilitating the excellent conference coverage and live stream video and recaps

Thank you for all you have done and will do to make this a huge success!