Headed to the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference 2017 in Las Vegas starting next Monday? Us too! Look for Blattel Communications Founder and CEO Ellen Blattel and President Traci Stuart.
With the conference nearly here, we wanted to share five quick tips for having a productive conference:
1. Bring LOTS of Business Cards – It happens to people at every conference – running out of business cards. So, double-check your packing list to ensure that it includes cards. And, when you think you have a sufficient amount, add some more. It is always better to return with extras than run out.
2. Take Notes and Consider Putting Your Laptop Away – Keeping up on email and moving time-sensitive items forward is a great use of laptops and phones. After those items are checked off, the temptation for the mind to wander away from presentations is great. Consider closing the lid, putting the phone in your pocket and opening your physical notebook. There is a line of research suggesting that handwriting notes leads to better retention of content. It also helps keep you engaged in a presentation. Of course, if you’re actively tweeting a session, go ahead and keep the electronics active.
3. Plan for Networking – Networking is not always easy. You are essentially introducing yourself, oftentimes, to virtual strangers. If you are a little shy, resist the urge to disengage. A tried-and-true strategy is to walk in to a networking session with a set goal. For instance, pledge to meet enough new contacts to hand out the business cards in your pocket. Or, plan to meet a handful – just five – new contacts before the event concludes. (And, remember to follow up and connect on LinkedIn.)
4. Learn About Something New – There is generally a temptation to skip sessions that are outside of one’s area of expertise. This creates two problems:
1) You select programs on topics with which you’re already familiar, potentially limiting the usefulness of content.
2) You leave the conference feeling that the educational content really didn’t grow your skillset.
Given this dynamic, take the plunge and try something new or intriguing to you. It will also afford the opportunity to learn more about your colleagues in the industry and how other firms and marketers think and operate.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Change Sessions – If you go to a presentation and the content is too simplistic or truly not of interest, don’t rule out sneaking out of the room and trying something different. Presenters have tough skins and would rather you get the most out of the conference. Going back to tip two, if you lose interest and end up scrolling aimlessly through email, you won’t be taking advantage of all the conference has to offer.
BONUS – The house always wins, always. (This is Vegas, after all.)
See you next week!