The PSMG have once again provided one of the highlights of the Professional Services Marketing calendar with their 2021 conference.
This year the theme was "back to the future" with a focus on bringing a culture that was prepared for the working landscape post-Covid-19.
The star of the show was not Gail Jaffa, PSMG's effervescent host. Nor was it the illuminating Paul Taylor of AlixPartners, our conference Chair.
As it happened, the event platform, Virbella was the runaway star of the show as we all jumped into a world with avatars, dancing and more fun than any conference has had to offer since the start of the pandemic.
Our conference theme "reshaping your firm's culture" came across as critical throughout the course of the conference, it's clear to see that culture will be a huge challenge as firm's return to offices and as the dust settles from 2020/21's big shakeup.
Our first speaker, Paul Lanzone of DXC Technology took us through the transformation the legal department at DXC had undergone. His presentation took us through a practical, real-life example of what culture change looked like.
A key takeaway here was that as the team at DXC were able to be more data-driven, more transparent and more agile, they actually became more accurate and effective. Putting their key metrics in more visible places physically on televisions in offices as well as virtually in dashboards meant that the legal team was physically brought more to front of mind and became more of a leader for the firm.
To paraphrase Paul, "our digital transformation achieved something most would not have thought possible, we saved 30% of our spend, whilst becoming more effective and keeping everyone happy."
On day 2 after networking and workshops we heard again from our host Paul, but also from:
William Walder, Latham & Watkins;
Shaz Panesar, Herbert Smith Freehills;
Dominic Ayres, Eversheds Sutherland;
Stuart Lang, Latham & Watkins
The discussion here was cryptically titled "I'll never complain about the price of Pret again." Here our presenters actually discussed the return to a more normal mode of working, what that would look like, how that would impact firms and what it means for professionals.
An interesting takeaway here was from an audience survey into the expectations of professional services marketing folk come a return to offices. Almost everyone expects more flexible working in the future, clearly there is a huge amount of cultural disruption to come for the industry.
Overall the conference was an entertaining, slightly mad, but informative look at what's coming down the pipe for professional services firms in the future. Well done to Gail and the team, see you at PSMG conference in 2022!