LMASE Conference Scholarship Follow Up

Welcome to Charlotte-LMASE 2017 Conference Day One
The dawn of the first day of the LMASE conference was much like the first day of school. I fretted over what to wear, what to bring and arrived early so as not to miss a moment. You see, I'm an LMASE newbie and I wanted to soak up as much of the experience as possible. I am also a single marketer to a firm with (then) 10 offices and 89 attorneys, so clearly I need as much help and support as I can get. I certainly found what I was looking for and so much more!

Let me just say that when it was mentioned that I join LMA and the LMASE I had no idea of the magnitude of this organization. I come from an advertising agency background and was completely blown away by the level of strategic thinking of this group. It's one thing to explore the offerings of the website; it's another to see this impressive think-tank in action, which made me even more grateful for the scholarship to attend.

As the conference got underway, I immediately noticed the comradery of the individuals. Everyone was buzzing with excitement at seeing former mentors, colleagues from other offices and old industry friends. Squeals and shouts of welcome could be heard with the ding of each elevator door. The conference floor was alive and even though I knew no one, it was impossible not to be swept up in it.  

After getting settled, surveying the sponsors with their swag, helpful information and treats lining the exhibit hallway, it was time to gather for the series of Pre-Conference workshops. I chose the Small- and Mid-Size law Firm Marketing grouping and it did not disappoint.
I loved the small group feel of these sessions and I took so many nuggets of valuable information away from each speaker. Nuggets like these from Clinton Gary during his session, "The Collaboration Imperative."
  1. It is impossible to grow the topline of your firm without smart collaboration. You must act as ONE FIRM which is always a major struggle but can be achieved by orchestrating and creating an environment of collaboration.
  2. Consider the development of a firm Intranet and TV Broadcast that scrolls pertinent firm news and stories in breakrooms, conference rooms, etc. Information can range from personal stories about staff and attorneys, birthdays, team meeting announcements, congratulations, etc. It can be pulled straight from newsletters or vice versa.
  3. Collaboration doesn't have to happen in the office. Do fun things to promote a unified firm-softball teams, golf clubs, running groups, book clubs, associate alumni groups, lunch bunch groups, etc.
  4. Collaboration must be part of the firm culture and we must find ways to implement and increase the space for it to happen.
As well as these from Amanda Loesch and Stefanie Marrone during their session "Best Practices for Selecting and Working with Business Partners."
  1. Business partners are not vendors. They are active participants in the efforts of the firm. Include them in meetings and let them get to know the firm directly from the people who know it best.  
  2. If you approach firm management about using a Business Partner and you are met with opposition,  arm yourself with data. Tell the decision makers what you will have to give up doing if you have to do it solo. Also, provide ways to free up funds if necessary.
  3. Freelancers are not free! Ask often, "Is this within the scope of my project" before being hit with a big bill.
And the grand finale of the day, "Implementing Strategic Plans" by Kathryn Whitaker.
  1. Effectively implementing plans can be a challenge when you have limited resources and time.
  2. Set the firm strategy then the marketing plan and roadmap. Everything must align with the strategy.
  3. Create a marketing roadmap and give it to executive committee to follow. As things change and evolve be sure to alter the roadmap. The roadmap will also provide a valuable check-point at the end of the year.
  4. Identify short- and long-term objectives. Make sure you are not trying to tackle a long-term project in a short-term space.
My only regret was not being able to time-hop in order to participate in the other Pre-Conference workshop sessions, "Leading the Future" and "Quick Start."

Day one ended with a fabulous conference reception sponsored by LexisNexis® InterAction® which featured a look into the future complete with a Fortune Teller, Magic 8-Ball take-away along with fabulous hors d'ouevres. At the close of the evening, I was swimming in new ideas, grateful to have met several new industry friends and excited about another day of discovery, ideas, collaboration and celebration of this remarkable profession. 
Lauren Wallace
Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy LLC
Marketing Coordinator
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