If you aren’t a TED-head yet, it’s time you become one. TED Conferences are described by attendees as “The ultimate brain spa” and “A 4-day journey into the future, in the company of those creating it.”
TED stands for technology, entertainment and design – three huge subject areas that are shaping our future. A typical TED offering is a 4-day conference, which includes more than 50 speakers and topics – a flurry of new and ground-breaking ideas in a concentrated time and space.
The planning group for the Legal Marketing Association’s Los Angeles chapter conference determined that the TED format would be more engaging and inspiring than a typical LMA conference format, and, according to Winstead CMO Allen Fuqua (who spoke at the LMA TED conference), it was. This post from Allen is a short recap of this conference, and Part 2 will be a summary of his presentation, “The Smart Work Matrix: Helping You and Your Staff Work Smarter, Better and With Less Pain/Stress.”
Guest Post by Allen Fuqua
True innovation in the law firm industry is a rarity. And I was fortunate to witness and be a participant in it on September 28, 2012 at the Legal Marketing Association’s Los Angeles CME event.
The LA group hosted a Continuing Marketing Education event based on the TED big idea format. 23 speakers spoke for 20 minutes each on a big idea about which they felt passionate. Actually it was 17 solo speakers and 2 panels of 3 speakers each.
With an LMA Los Angeles membership of some 110 professionals, the event was at capacity with 110 people registered for attendance. The quality of the program may have been best represented by the fact that even for the last two sessions of the day-long event, the crowd remained entranced and enthusiastic. I had the privilege to be the last solo speaker of the day and I was impressed by the numbers, the engagement and participation of that audience that endured.
The speaker’s ideas came fast and furious. Burkey Belser launched the program by providing a different take on elevator speeches, emphasizing story, personality and personal connection. Then, speaker after speaker brought insight and application to new ideas, as well as clear thoughts around issues that needed them. Too many highlights to list them all, but they included:
- Austin Holian – talked about membership mentality and the opportunity to bring clients closer to the law firm.
- A great group of global law firm marketing executives discussed everything from how they define success, to the importance of progress measures, to their personal approach to managing their groups and themselves. Truly an impressive panel to aspire to emulate.
- Carol Schiro Greenwald explained how our communications must be defined and limited to how the brain takes in information and how it really processes the data. Certainly it helps explain why some things work and many others are useless.
- Jeff Gottschalk brought the latest applications of QR codes to light transforming the idea from useless flash to potential real value.
- Dr.Silvia Hodges challenged the crowd to consider building relationships with company procurement personnel and to get serious about using metrics.
And on and on it went.
The entire conference was videotaped – I encourage you to find it online at the LMA LA site once it’s finally posted.
Other highlights for me included Peter Ozolin, founder and CEO of Manzama, who walked attendees through the importance of identifying content and public information without ever mentioning his own product. Weird vendor is he.
David Freeman presented different leadership styles in a succinct manner.
Nat Slavin, Partner, Wicker Park Group, and David Fish, Business Development and Communications Manager at Jones Day, producers and directors of the event, provided energy and leadership for their panels and the overall quality of the conference.
Jonathan Fitzgarrald, CMO at Greenberg Glusker and president of the LMA LA chapter started off the event with the seminal, ground-zero story of how law firm marketing began.
And seriously, I’m not even covering half of the content highlights.
Point is, this high velocity, big idea approach produced an experience for the Los Angeles audience, which may have set a new standard for these type of events. I do hope other LMA chapters consider this format. Great bang for the buck and time invested. It keeps speakers focused, makes them less inclined to talk about themselves and provides audience members a vast array of content from which to find new opportunities for their teams and their own personal work.
Once again, kudos to Nat, David, Jonathan and the rest of the organizing committee. Certainly time well spent.