So, you’re going to the next LMA Annual Conference! Hooray! You look at the agenda and start to think, I like many of these sessions, there is so much to choose from, but where do I start? How do you maximize your time at the LMA Annual Conference? In my final article, I will be discussing tips on how I determined which sessions to attend and some things I learned while there that I should have done differently.
Attend a Pre-Con. Although the conference did not technically start until Tuesday, April 9, there were pre-conference programs on Monday, April 8. The stars did not align for me to attend a pre-con this year, but I sorely missed out. Not simply because the topics at pre-con were timely and interesting, but if you are a newbie as I was, this is the time to get familiarized with the venue and setup for the coming days. A colleague attended the “Rise of the Legal Marketing Technologist” session and raved at the quality of the content discussed. Networking opportunities also begin the night before the conference begins. From the first timer’s reception, the exhibit hall welcome reception, and the LMA regional receptions, the night before the conference is a great opportunity to meet new folks and get ready for the busy programming ahead.
Be strategic but also pick sessions that interest you. At first, I only wanted to select sessions that would be relevant to my firm’s current or future needs. Fortunately, two of my colleagues also attended, so we “divided and conquered.” It allowed me to select sessions that didn’t necessarily align with my firm but were topics that I was personally passionate about or wanted to learn more. If you’re attending alone, I would recommend purchasing the conference recordings. This way, you can attend sessions relevant to your firm’s needs but also squeeze in sessions of personal interest and use those recordings to report back on all sessions from the conference.
Don’t skip the networking reception. It’s the end of day one and you want to go home and get some rest before you have to get up bright and early for day two’s full schedule so you contemplate skipping the networking reception — don’t! While there are opportunities between sessions to catch up with old colleagues and make new connections, there’s nothing like celebrating a full day of great programming by unwinding at the official networking reception of the conference and even some of the sponsored receptions in the area. I had a blast relaxing and enjoying the fantastic food and venue at the official One North networking reception at The Roof at Ponce City Market. It was at these receptions that I made so many great connections and really got to know my peers. I needed an extra cup of coffee the next day, but it was worth it!
Attend until the end. You may be tempted to scoot out early on the second day — don’t! The sessions at the end of day two were just as insightful and impactful as day one. You may be exhausted, but you will be missing out if you decide to leave early. For example, this year’s final sessions consisted of some of my favorite speakers, Chris Fritsch from ClientsFirst Consulting, Jacqueline Madarang from Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, and Toni Wells from Bespoke Marketing Partners, just to name a few. The conference wrapup was also a great way to end two days of educational programming.
My final tip… have fun! While the conference is a learning experience, and trust me you will learn a lot, it is also a time to enjoy the learning process and have a blast! Kudos to the LMA professionals who are responsible for the programming and layout of the conference. They have done a fantastic job at taking care of legal marketers by educating us while making the experience enjoyable and rewarding.
I would like to thank the LMA Southeast Region for the opportunity to attend my first LMA annual conference. My time was spent learning, connecting, and collaborating. I am excited to attend not just future annual conferences but regional conferences as well. The value in attending LMA conferences is undeniable. It’s important that as legal marketers we constantly evolve and grow as society does. LMA provides the perfect platform to achieve both while providing access to its international community. Don’t be a stranger, if you see me at a future conference, I would love to meet you!
Angie G. Litan, MS
Business Development and Marketing Manager