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Do You Have a Conference Plan?

     By International Law Firm Solutions Ltd International Law Firm Marketing

PhoneCall Alex Holtum at +44 7769 640959

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:

a. Networking: re-connecting with existing contacts or making new ones
b. Getting involved in specialist committees
c. Education/ best practice
d. Finding out about products etc at exhibition stands
e. Sharing experiences – it can be a lonely place managing/owning a law firm – this is an opportunity to meet others in the same position
f. Party, party, party! May exclude much else

3. Key elements to your plan:

a. Be realistic about how much you can do
b. 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
c. 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?
d. 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:

a. Go with a clear message. In most instances avoid being full-service.
b. Research who you are meeting
c. 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

a. Don’t be too modest / shy. This is your opportunity to make a positive impression
b. Take loads of business cards
c. 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.

Alex Holtum was originally a Dispute Resolution lawyer, working for Freshfields, Reed Smith and DLA Piper. He founded ILFS in 2005 and since then I has worked with firms in over 100 jurisdictions, helping them fast track their international growth strategy.

His role at ILFS is to act as primary contact for many clients, especially those that need help on a strategic level establishing and building their international profile.

Prior to founding ILFS he obtained an MBA from one of Europe's leading business schools and was a director/internal consultant at Ernst & Young, managing the support centre for their international network of law firms which consisted of 3,000 lawyers and 50 law firms in as many countries.

Copyright International Law Firm Solutions Ltd More information about International Law Firm Solutions Ltd

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.
For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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