I’d be willing to bet your email inbox and social feeds, on a regular basis, are full of opportunities for legal seminars, workshops, and conferences. The market for such events has become increasingly large, and we’ve heard from many of our clients that they struggle to decide what’s worth attending and what could be skipped. You just can’t do them all, nor should you. These events represent significant time away from the office. If you haven’t done your due diligence, you could find yourself spending weeks and weeks a year away from your firm without ever getting any real payoff. One of our primary objectives at Vista is to help firms and team members see the payoff. In this blog, we’ll help you identify tools for both selecting the right events and making the most of your experience there.
Picking the Right Industry Event for Your Needs
Too often, I think we don’t do a good job in selecting a handful of impactful, well-suited events and instead opt to stretch ourselves too thin and attend every conference whose ad catches our eye on our social media feeds. So many events in the legal industry promise magic bullets and millions of dollars in revenue increase in exchange for attendance.
I’ve been in this industry for more than 20 years, and while I’ve seen some impactful and motivational speakers and walked away with some great nuggets, I’ve never received the secret pixie dust to transform a business (spoiler alert – it doesn’t exist. Well, maybe it does, but it involves a lot of hard work, solid processes, the right people, and a well-thought-out vision to implement with intention. It doesn’t involve a cut-and-paste recipe that looks the same for every firm and every business!) I’ve also grown a little weary of the same speakers with the same message or sales pitch. There’s a whole wide world of personalities, perspectives, advice, and ideas out there.
So, how do you find those events in a crowded market that will really help you grow your firm, inspire your team, and optimize your firm’s operations? Ask yourself some of these questions when you’re deciding if an event is right for you or not:
Once you ask those questions, you should be able to filter out some events that just aren’t well-suited to your current goals or otherwise clearly won’t benefit you. From that culled-down list, take the time to do your due diligence. Ask trusted contacts if they’ve attended previously and see what their experience was like. Would they go back again? Did they gain anything from the event? Our industry is tight-knit enough that you should be able to glean some great information from other’s experiences so you can best invest your dollars in the right events.
Crafting an Effective Strategy for Conference Participation
Once you’ve selected the right-fit conferences for your needs and the needs of your team, you must take responsibility to ensure your experience there is well-spent and worthwhile. Waiting for a magical conference experience to find you is a passive approach that will likely never yield any meaningful results. Take the initiative to enrich your time at the event and make every moment count. Here’s how:
Enjoy the Ride
As you embark on your conference journey, remember that the biggest investment you’re making is not financial, it’s an investment of time. You’re taking hours, days, or even a week away from your daily responsibilities to focus on your personal growth and the advancement of your firm. Make the most out of this sacrifice by actively participating, learning, and networking. Find the balance between absorbing new ideas and sharing your own.
Getting conference attendance right can make all the difference in receiving a valuable ROI on your investment. That means you must invest time and effort in finding the right events for you, and when event time comes, you have to make it count. Don’t let those dollars dissolve into wasted time away from the office. The payoff? Achieve new goals. Grow your firm. Empower your team. Expand your reach. What’s not to love? The experience will be what you make of it, so set clear goals, stay open-minded, and, most importantly, enjoy the ride.