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Tips to Get Management to Approve Attending Your Next Professional Conference
Lawyers who attend a group or trade association meeting should return to the office with specific follow-up activity as a result.
Of course, we recommend lawyers hold a leadership position or serve on an organization’s working committee. By doing so, lawyers will have people to see and specific business to conduct at every organization meeting they attend.
Even if a lawyer is only “attending” a meeting and is not involved in the sponsoring organization’s leadership or committees, that lawyer should still have something to do or report to justify their time and the firm money spent.
What might that be?
- The lawyer may be able to tell management the presentation was not informative and that those who attended are not possible clients or referrals sources for the lawyer or firm. That means the firm should curtail further participation in the group.
- The lawyer can summarize the speakers’ remarks and circulate them to other lawyers, clients and referrals sources in an email or memo. “I thought you’d be interested in a summary of the remarks made at last week’s meeting of the (group) by (name of speaker)”
- Follow up with a new contact made during the conference to have coffee and discuss how helping each other can accomplish business development goals.
- Add the name(s) of new contacts from the conference to the firm’s marketing mailing list, and send personal notes telling them they will soon receive firm mailings/notices.
- Introduce a new contact to another lawyer in the firm, or to a friend, client or referral source that may be able to help them, even if the need is not legal.
- Too often firms spend thousands of dollars in dues, food and professional time so lawyers can attend meetings from which nothing substantive results. Group and trade association meeting attendance must be monitored by the firm and follow-up activity made requisite for the investment to make sense.
- Bob Weiss is president of Alyn-Weiss and Associates, Inc., a Denver-based marketing consulting group which has worked with both corporate, transactional and defense firms and contingent fee practices nationwide for more than 20 years.
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