Do you have a Conference plan?
As an attendee of conferences all over the world, I am often asked by clients how to make the most of them. Here are my top 6 tips on how to get the most from your time and investment at these events (otherwise they can just be a very expensive time away from the office/ clients).
1. Have a plan: this particularly applies to large events like the IBA Annual meeting and INTA. These are massive events which you can get a great deal from. However, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the event and achieve very little
2. Be clear what you want to achieve. Obvious goals include:
- Networking: re-connecting with existing contacts or making new ones
- Getting involved in specialist committees
- Education/ best practice
- Finding out about products etc at exhibition stands
- Sharing experiences – it can be a lonely place managing/owning a law firm – this is an opportunity to meet others in the same position
- Party, party, party! May exclude much else
3. Key elements to your plan:
- Be realistic about how much you can do
- Who do you want to meet? Use the conference database to identify who you know/who you’d like to know. Consider circulating an email to existing contacts saying you are going and suggesting meeting
- Look at the conference sessions/organised dinners etc. Be selective about them. Ask is the content of value to me and am I likely to meet interesting people there?
- Hosted events: you are likely to be invited to plenty. Be realistic about how many you can attend
4. If you are there to promote your law firm:
- Go with a clear message. In most instances avoid being full-service.
- Research who you are meeting
- Follow the meeting up
5. Don’t miss opportunities that arise. In addition to planned meetings you will also meet people more randomly at conference lunches etc
- Don’t be too modest/ shy. This is your opportunity to make a positive impression
- Take loads of business cards
- Remember who you have met – notes on back of business cards – voice memo on your phone…
6. Follow-up. Remember the contacts you make are just the start if a business relationship that will need to be nurtured and trust built.
How ILFS can help
ILFS works with law firms to help them build a conference strategy that enables them to identify the key conferences and events that:
- are attended by key target audiences
- will give them the opportunity to raise their profile
- will enable them to reinforce existing relationships and establish new contacts that can help build their international business network.
Contact us to see how we can help you grow your law firm: