2018 Winners – Business Development: Events
Atlanta Cyber Week and Cybercon 2017
Summary: Baker Donelson's goals were to continue and increase being identified as a thought and community leader in cybersecurity for ongoing businesses as well as with emerging cybersecurity firms; thereby branding the firm in a niche area in a highly competitive legal market. The firm's name was associated with the entire week, where it approximated a total of 1,000 attendees over 11 events held during the week. The firm increased its exposure with key cybersecurity stakeholders in Atlanta as well as increasing exposure to CISOs and CIOs.
Working with outside contractor, ARPR, Baker Donelson created messaging and implemented it through a public relations media plan as well as social media plan, and coordinated all efforts with in-house capabilities. The firm increased its media exposure by adding a panel for media to participate during the conference ("Cybersecurity Trends – A Media Perspective," featuring panelists from ITSPmagazine, Fortune Magazine and Infosecurity Magazine). Each media outlet from the panel wrote about the event and posted to their respective social media accounts. The firm attracted an increase in sponsors for Cybercon 2017 from the prior year, which led to an increase in sponsorship dollars. Attendance also increased, which led to an increase in gate dollars. By working with the community and listening to stakeholders' needs, Baker Donelson created a week of events that the publich was interested in attending and being part of, and kept interest in Cybercon as a signature event.
This project is unique in that the firm provided a platform for a series of events while maintaining its event as the signature event of the week. The firm increased attendance (137 attendees) and gate dollars ($23,550) at Cybercon. It also increased sponsorships of Cybercon by $18,000 (total $53,880).
JENNER & bLOCK
The Future is Now – Jenner & Block Virtual Reality Experience
Summary: The goal for this event was to launch and brand Jenner & Block as frontrunners working on legal issues in the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) space. The firm met its goals by giving attendees (current clients, prospective clients and entertainment reporters) the chance to experience the leading VR platforms (Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) in a networking setting with firm lawyers on hand to answer questions about the technology and its uses in the entertainment industry and beyond.
This event launched the VR/AR practice and informed a wide audience in the entertainment industry about the firm’s understanding of this revolutionary technology and its capabilities to address related legal concerns. It also gave clients and prospects the ability to try multiple cutting-edge VR platforms for themselves, many for the first time, showcasing how immersive and transformative the technology is and its potential in creating unique entertainment experiences. These platforms are not widely available to consumers, and providing access to them turned a hypothetical conversation about the technology into a tangible experience. The creative invitations and event literature were designed to make a lasting impression on, and a constant reminder to, those who couldn’t attend the event itself. The event also offered firm lawyers the opportunity to follow up with attendees afterward.
At the event, attendees were “blown away” with the technology, and Jenner & Block lawyers received a valuable networking opportunity while showing their knowledge about a transformational technology and its legal implications (firm lawyers experienced the technology and received training from an industry expert about a month prior to the event). As a result of the launch, multiple in-person presentations of virtual and augmented reality have been delivered to clients and prospects. In addition, the firm’s existing VR work has grown. Firm lawyers are advising new clients on VR and AR issues and handling numerous transactions relating to this technology. Lawyers from the firm who attended also picked up a number of speaking engagements following the event. Reporters from key publications who attended also received the opportunity to ask the firm’s lawyers questions about the technology, offering the lawyers face-to-face networking with the press covering these issues.
Brooks Pierce DIY Musicians' Conference Sponsorship and Legal Clinic
Summary: Brooks Pierce's goal in sponsoring the DIY Musician’s Conference (Nashville, TN; August 2017) was to expand its entertainment practice to a new market. The firm worked to augment its relationships with Nashville music industry executives, raise awareness of its services in the market, establish brand recognition, expand its client base, and demonstrate its expertise through tangible value-added services for independent musicians (e.g., a music law handbook and discounted on-site legal consultations).
After negotiating sponsorship details with conference organizers, Brooks Pierce:
- Developed a robust menu of 30-minute, flat-fee legal consultations created specifically for attendees at a highly discounted rate.
- Created a custom landing page for on-site legal consult registration that contained an embedded form requesting the necessary information needed to do new client intake. The form generated an email used to do client intake prior to the conference (or on-site as needed).
- Drafted an email sent by conference organizers to attendees to highlight Brooks Pierce's on-site legal clinic and the menu of services it crafted, and provided a link to clinic registration
- Executed an integrated social media campaign to drive registrations to the legal clinic
- Designed and edited an over 40-page Musician’s Legal Handbook offered to conference attendees via a custom download code. Brooks Pierce provided a few print copies at its exhibit booth.
- Developed postcards and a banner to showcase the firm's expertise and serve as a conversation starter.
In order for this business development endeavor to be successful, Brooks Pierce developed a streamlined process for consultation signups online, scheduling consults, completing new client intake, processing consult fees and delivering work product. Via the Brooks Pierce exhibit table in the main hall and a private consultation space provided by the sponsorship, the firm distributed 100-plus copies of the handbook, engaged hundreds of conference attendees and held many on-site consultations. Revenue from consultation fees helped to recoup many of the hard costs for the sponsorship. Some of the clients from those consultations have since retained the firm for more substantive work. With this sponsorship, Brooks Pierce was able to begin establishing the firm in a new market (Nashville). The Brooks Pierce brand, reputation and menu of services attracted the attention of Nashville music industry leaders, as well as new clients, and its attorneys had the opportunity to build relationships with industry executives on a deeper level.