Where does one start when trying to round up the LMA Southwest Conference? There were many hot topics covered and some great sessions with wonderful speakers.
The Southwest region converged on Dallas for the welcome drinks on the 12th September and it was a golden opportunity to catch up with friends and colleague from across the various states that are covered. Judging by the volume in the room, I don't think there was a shortage of conversation!
Thursday the 13th was the main day of the conference and it was kicked off with some great words from Erica Orange and her presentation: The Future Begins Now: Reimagination in a Time of Change. Seemingly a return to the way things were is unrealistic and so Erica put forward some great ideas and thoughts as to how to adapt and innovate quickly as a new way of doing things settles in.
There were breakout sessions that followed and I attended the popular session which was held by Morgan Horvitz and Matt Plavnick - The Future is Ours: Practical Applications and Strategies to Grow our Firms. This was a fantastic, interactive session. We - the audience - were tasked to come up with answers to the questions and it was a resounding success as told by the volume in the room again!
Some of the probing questions were:
- What are the clients doing that we can learn from?
- What should Lawyers be coached to forget?
- How can marketers best help lawyers understand where to invest?
The response from the members in the room was fantastic and it was really good to get everyone involved.
Lunch was combined with a message from LMA President Brenda Plowman and also some awards for LMA Southwest members. Winning the awards were:
- Communications Marketing: Content - Dykema
- Business Development: Coaching/Planning/Training - Jones Walker
- Technology: Social Media/email marketing and other digital promotions - BoyarMiller
The post-lunch schedule was packed full with sessions being held by Intapp and Petree Partners LLC, followed by further presentations with Content Pilot who hosted a fantastic session which had some great responses to a survey they had carried out. It was well worth sitting in on that to see the answers but also the pro tips that they shared towards the end.
The final session I attended was hosted by Jennifer Simpson Carr and Lauren Michaud Knotts and again it was an interactive session with an action plan to take away with us. It was good to get audience participation and a key takeaway for me, albeit a very simple one, was clarification of the meaning of strategy: Strategy is the action plan that takes you where you want to go
The final day of the conference started off with a formidable CMO panel of Ashraf Lakhani, Iris Jones and Koree Khongphand-Buckman. The topic for the panel to get stuck into was 'Charting the Future of Legal Marketing', they discussed what's on the horizon and what it takes to chart the path of the future.
I think it's safe to say the whole conference was a fantastic success and everyone had a great time. It was an absolute pleasure to attend and see old friends and make new ones. I look forward to next year!