M. Ashraf Lakhani Betsi Roach, MIM, CAE
Director of Business Development Executive Director
and Marketing, Porter Hedges LLP Legal Marketing Association
President, Legal Marketing Association
Q. What are some of the highlights of this year’s conference?
Ashraf: There are some many exciting things coming up and we’ll highlight a few. I’m looking forward to our keynote speaker Catherine Sanderson discussing the science of happiness. Betsi and I saw her at another program last year, and it just clicked for both of us. I’m excited for her energy and uplifting message to kick off our conference Tuesday morning.
Betsi: Given many of the conversations in the legal industry around health and wellness, this topic is so timely right now. We are in a very stressful industry, and the expectations are high to deliver time after time. We need to take care of ourselves before we can really take care of others. We don’t talk about issues around mental health and well-being enough in our industry, and it's really important.
Ashraf: When we do talk or read about these issues, it’s typically in the context of lawyers, but it’s really a broader conversation about the legal industry. That’s why we’re so excited about having the conversation at the annual conference. This is an opportunity to get a different perspective.
I’m also excited about the continuation of the mentoring program we started back in 2015. Although we’re an extremely friendly community, I know from first-hand experience that it can be very intimidating to walk into the conference for the first time. Our mentorship program pairs up first-time attendees with those who have been to the conference before. There's a call for the program participants before the conference to talk about navigating the conference activities.
We also set up a meeting with mentees and mentors early in the conference to break the ice and help people create new relationships. It’s really a way for us to welcome new conference attendees and help to ensure they maximize their experience.
As always, our pre-conference program is strong and this year, we added two new sessions – one on coaching and another on leadership.
Betsi: We’re also continuing the conversation about Diversity and Inclusion with another Town Hall. And we’re introducing a new concept as an extension of our exhibit hall called the Lagniappe Lounge. For those not familiar, lagniappe is the concept of giving a little something extra. We added this as an opportunity for service providers to provide quick demos at designated times that attendees can sign up to attend. We’ve done this for the past couple years at the P3 conference, but this is the first time at the annual conference.
I’m also really pleased that most if not all of our regions are hosting an event so that their groups can connect as well. There are lots of opportunities for attendees to make connections whether through the mentoring program, a regional reception or the many other networking opportunities.
Q. How does this conference further the mission and goals of LMA?
Ashraf: The goal of LMA is to create a welcoming community for professional development. We now have technology that allows the learning and experience to travel real-time from session to session as well as reach the LMA community who couldn’t attend the conference. Whether it’s following on social media or taking advantage of the conference recordings, the lessons learned are no longer only for attendees.
In addition to the learning opportunities, the energy, enthusiasm and ideas that are created help guide the organization for the rest of the year. Gathering together to realize the value of the network is a huge win for the organization. LMA is thriving thanks to the engagement of our members and our annual conference is when we all connect to see it in person.
This is snapshot from the Monday edition of the #LMA18 Daily Conference News, presented by Poston Communications. Check out all the editions of the #LMA18 Daily Conference News.
For more information about the conference, visit www.LMAconference.com, call 1-877-562-7172 or email customerservice@LMAconference.com.