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Expand your horizons : 2007 tech conferences

January 7, 2007

Frank Gruber has put together a nice list of technology/business conferences for 2007.

Lawyers and legal marketing professionals make note of these. One, for networking. Second, to pick up innovative ideas.

Networking with technology companies, both startups and established ones, is critical for law firms looking to represent them. Take a look at the conference programs, their speakers, and attendees. You’re likely to see folks from companies you’d like to be representing.

Just exchanged emails with a new client, a partner in a three lawyer boutique Seattle firm, who is in LasVegas at CES (Consumer Electronic Show). Not only is she going to be networking with clients, she’ll also leave keenly aware of the latest technologies. Keeping up with her clients is critical for her practice.

Lawyers are much more likely to pick up innovative ideas at a non-legal tech conference than a legal-technology conference. Law firms notoriously lag other industries in technology advancement. If you’re looking for the future and the excitement it brings, you’re unlikely to find it at a legal conference.

Presenters at some legal conferences are dictated by who is a friend of who and who is unlikely to offend sponsors of the conference. The result is quality speakers are often turned away. From personal experience, I’ve not seen that at technology conferences. Tech conferences put speakers with new ideas first and welcome controversial presenters.

Legal conferences are limited by CLE credits. If you’re too pro-marketing through the effective use of technology, the conference seminar may not qualify for CLE credits. CLE’s are of course required, but so are ideas that let you make enough money to support your family and have fun practicing law.

I attended my first ‘tech related’ conference as a rural Wisconsin practicing lawyer in 1997. It was an Internet marketing and advertising conference in California. Saw the Internet was for real and the future of legal marketing was on the Internet. The ideas I picked up grew my business immediately.

Go to legal technology conferences to network with other legal professionals and pick up CLE credits. Try technology conferences for networking with clients and innovation.

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