Beer for bloggers Thomson Reuters

LexBlog is honored to have Thomson Reuters co-hosting a Beer for Bloggers (and others) with us on Tuesday evening at ILTACON in Washington D.C.

I started Beer for Bloggers thirteen years ago as a way to meet a few bloggers when I was traveling. I also wanted to get a little publicity for LexBlog – which hardly anyone had heard of. Heck not that many had heard of a blog, let alone could figure out what a legal professional would do with one.

On the way out of town, I’d find an Irish Bar in my destination city on Google (not sure Yelp was around). I’d post on my blog that I’d be in the bar from 5:30 to 7:00 and would pick up the tab for beers for anyone who showed. There was no Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, my blog was the only way word got out.

Subscribers to my blog spread the word in their town and people showed. We had a lot of fun – and LexBlog’s name grew, probably faster than if I traveled to conferences as an exhibitor.

A couple years ago, Gretchen DeSutter, team lead in media relations for Thomson Reuters, appproached me at a Beer for Bloggers in Chicago (co-hosted by the ABA Journal) about her desire to sponsor one of my “Beer for Bloggers.”

I was thrown off a bit. One, because I had been critical of FindLaw and WestLaw over the years here on my blog and knew that made me no friends in Eagan. Second,  it sounded a little odd to call it Kevin O’Keefe’s/LexBlog’s Beer for Blogger brought to you by Thomson Reuters.

But DeSutter was the real deal. She was down to earth, straight talking and an authentic voice for Thomson Reuters.

De Sutter also knew the lay of the land in the legal publishing world – something always of interest to me. Plus she was a highly respected communications/relationships/media professional, having worked for West Publishing since Dwight Opperman was publisher and owner.

My friend, Bob Ambrogi, who also knew De Sutter, closed the deal when he told me, “Don’t be a fool, co-sponsor a Beer for Bloggers with Thomson Reuters, it’s a sign of what LexBlog has achieved.” Or something along those lines. ;)

What started out as buying as many people a beer who heard word via my blog has now grown into a gathering co-sponsored by a major multinational mass media and information company, let alone the largest bar association in the country co-hosting one annually.

Beer for Bloggers, though with a few more attendees, remains the same – an informal gathering at a local pub in legal conferences cities that I am traveling to. An opportunity to break away from the pace of a conference or a day at work for a little camaraderie and an opportunity to meet people you known only online.

You’re all invited (blogger or not, lawyer or not, attending ILTACON or not) Tuesday night at 5:30 to Beer for Bloggers at Bobby McKeys at National Harbor.

Beers are on us.

Thanks TR.