The 2014 Your Honor Awards program was generously sponsored by:
2014 Winners: Events
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP
"Bilzin Sumberg's New Miami Breakfast Series"
The New Miami Breakfast Series is part of the firm’s larger “New Miami” initiative, a campaign launched last year that includes the Bilzin Sumberg New Miami Blog, Twitter hashtag #NewMiami, LinkedIn, a survey and traditional media. The campaign seeks to solidify the firm’s position as Miami’s preeminent commercial law firm.
The Breakfast Series features several morning seminars organized and hosted by Bilzin Sumberg throughout the year, focusing on topics related to New Miami such as public-private partnerships, hospitality and real estate financing. Each seminar features a panel of speakers and a moderator from Bilzin Sumberg. Attendees have included lenders, investors, public and private entities and professional service providers.
The idea for the Breakfast Series came about last year, when the firm commissioned the Bilzin Sumberg New Miami Survey among business leaders in the community. The firm identified key points to address in further detail and devised each breakfast to focus on one of these key topics. To identify potential speakers, the Bilzin Sumberg marketing team conducted online research, read blogs, articles and bulletins, and tapped into its attorneys’ existing networks and contacts. Potential panelists were then invited to participate. The firm’s events manager worked closely with its Government Relations & Land Development Practice Group Leader and head of its Hospitality Practice to coordinate the breakfasts.
Pre-event invitations were sent via email, and the Bilzin Sumberg marketing team promoted the events through banner ads on the New Miami Blog and firm website, public relations efforts, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter. Post-event, email blasts were sent out with a link to the panelists’ presentations. Post-event press releases with photos were also distributed to the media.
Three installments were conducted in February, June and September 2013. Titles included: “Public-Private Partnerships: Why They Are Growing in Popularity and Their Impact on South Florida,” “Hospitality: A Bird’s Eye View of Miami and Beyond” and “The Return of Real Estate Financing: Passing Trend or Here to Stay?” More are planned for 2014.
The breakfasts not only attracted new clients and developed relationships with potential referral sources and panelists, but also provided a great deal of exposure in the community. Through email marketing, the New Miami Breakfast Series reached more than 5,000 people. Countless others were reached through the series’ exposure on the Bilzin Sumberg website and blog.
Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP
"Carlock Copeland's Day of Discover"
In January 2013, defense firm Carlock, Copeland & Stair created six new practice groups, one of which was Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith Litigation (ICBF). The first year of the practice, they sought to create general awareness of the group amongst existing and prospective clients, introduce and define attorneys as leaders in the field, and identify individuals and organizations that could lead to growth.
To support this objective, the firm engaged in many strategies, but key was the “Day of Discovery, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Seminar,” hosted for insurance claims professionals in the Southeast. This free, day-long event was hosted at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in early fall and included five hours of CE/CLE credit, lunch, cocktails and admission to the gardens. The event drew 122 registrants who enjoyed the educational and entertainment aspects of the event. The attorneys were pleased with the quality of leads generated, including 70 cross-marketing opportunities, 24 “good leads,” the introduction of three brand-new carriers, a 900% increase in online traffic and an increase in identified contacts from 0 to 539.
Within two months after the event, the firm:
- Received six new ICBF matters from three current clients
- Rekindled a relationship with a former client resulting in new ICBF and construction defect matters
- Rekindled courtship with a prospect pitched to a year earlier, which sent a panel request to the firm’s SC office one week after attending the seminar
- Was asked to submit for an ICBF panel for another new client
Hunter Maclean Exley & Dunn, P.C.
"HunterMaclean Critical Issues Forums on Logistics"
In 2013, HunterMaclean reformatted its annual Critical Issues Forum to be a springboard for its emerging logistics practice. The firm has presented the forum since 2004 as a way to bring business and civic leaders together for thought-provoking panel discussions about vital business issues. Rather than an overt advertisement, the series positions the firm as a thought leader in the community and gives its attorneys a chance to network with potential clients.
Though the firm has logistics clients, it has not previously marketed itself to the industry. Logistics — the movement of goods from origin to destination worldwide — accounts for $15 billion spent annually in Georgia. With offices in Savannah (the third-largest container port in the country) and Brunswick (the largest automotive port in the nation), building a practice to service the industry is a high priority for the firm. HunterMaclean used the forum, presented in both Savannah and Brunswick, to bring together top industry leaders and provide them with valuable content, and position the firm’s logistics practice as knowledgeable, connected and proactive.
The forum received extremely positive feedback, including:
“I am just leaving the marathon MLET [Maritime Logistics Education Task Force] board meeting, which was attended by many industry partners. I had several people come up to me and compliment our firm on the recent Critical Issues Forum.”
— Logistics team attorney
Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP
"Makers: Women Who Make America"
Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP hosts events throughout the year that not only are opportunities to network and socialize, but also are informative for the firm’s audience and complement its commitment to diversity. In particular, the firm’s Women’s Network hosts an annual event for clients and friends of the firm, which is referred to as a “Professional Connections” event. The goal of this event is to provide an opportunity for female attorneys and business contacts to grow their professional networks. Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg were particularly proud to host a Professional Connections event in February 2013 at the Chicago premiere of “MAKERS: Women Who Make America.” The PBS documentary chronicles the modern American Women’s Movement that helped reshape the country’s economic, political and cultural landscape over the past 50 years.
The firm welcomed nearly 200 guests to the Gene Siskel Film Center. Special guests included “MAKER” Marlo Thomas, star of the television series “That Girl,” author of “Free to Be…You and Me” and National Outreach Director of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Executive Producer of the film “Betsy West.” The event began with a private dinner and networking session for Neal Gerber Eisenberg friends, clients and colleagues and continued with the movie premiere. After the screening, there was an audience Q&A session with Thomas and West.
The goal of this event was to provide an exclusive opportunity to form “Professional Connections” among the female members of the business and legal community. Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg used the movie screening, discussion and reception to create a unique point of contact with clients while demonstrating that its commitment to diversity extends beyond a written policy.
The event was extremely successful. Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg received positive feedback from attendees. One client said “Great, great, great event. This Woman’s Movement story needed to be told. Thanks so much for funding the support of this project and bringing many individuals together.” Neal Gerber Eisenberg also was given advertising credit with WTTW in various mediums as a result of the partnership.