Why Attorneys Should Attend Trade Shows - Martindale-Avvo

Why Attorneys Should Attend Trade Shows

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Some law firms overlook the importance and benefits of attending legal trade shows. Finding the right trade shows to attend can bring a wealth of benefits and potential clients to your firm. Learn more about how to leverage the right trade shows for your law firm’s success. 

Are Trade Shows Right for Your Law Firm?

Trade shows can be a lucrative investment for law firms when properly utilized. However, they can also be a money pit for law firms that fail to do their homework. If your firm wants to get into the trade show scene, here’s how you can make trade shows work for you.

Picking the Right Shows

Picking the right trade shows helps determine your success. You don’t need to attend every trade show. You don’t even need to attend the biggest shows. Instead, focus on attending the shows that feature your target audience. Your primary targets should be the shows that attract the most prospective clients with the least competition.

Do your research before you commit to any trade show. Reach out to the organizers and request the information you need to determine whether the show is worth your time. Consider factors such as:

  • The type of businesses in attendance
  • The number of expected attendees
  • Last year’s guest list
  • What sponsorship packages are available

Once you have these details, you can select the top shows that will get you noticed by your prospective clients. 

Benefits of Attending Legal Trade Shows

When you have decided that trade shows benefit your law firm, determine what you wish to achieve. Attending legal trade shows has many benefits, but not all of them will be on your firm’s priority list. 

Understanding your goals can help you focus and avoid distractions during trade shows. Legal trade shows can help you:

Network with Prospective Clients

One of the most common reasons to attend legal trade shows is to facilitate networking with potential clients. Depending on your law firm’s practice areas, you may have better results attending a practice-specific show or a chamber of commerce event. 

Build Your Profile and Network

If your primary goal is to build your profile, try to get involved in areas that will give you more face time. Consider signing up to present on a topic you excel at. If presenting or taking on leadership roles is not an option, you can join workshops and meet-and-greets to network with peers.

You are never too established to overlook the power of networking. New relationships can lead to unexpected opportunities. Trade shows are a great place to make new connections with people who share your goal.

Keep Up-to-Date With Industry Trends

The legal industry landscape is ever-changing. Social developments are on the rise. New ways of thinking regularly challenge the established routine. These shifts can make navigating the landscape challenging. 

Trade shows help you stay on top of recent developments and new ideas currently permeating the legal industry. 

Develop Skills

Trade shows can be a fantastic way to share knowledge with other professionals within the industry. With the wide range of legal experts and thinkers available at trade shows, you can learn from some of the most forward-thinking members of the legal community.

Making the Most of Your Show

If you choose to invest in trade show attendance, it’s worth taking the time to prepare properly for your show. You should consider the visual impression of your booth, your marketing materials, and the practical aspects of attending trade shows.

Visual Impressions

Consider the space you will work with and make the most of it. Whether you have a 10-by-10 booth space or a simple table, you want to make a good first impression. Investing in a professionally made booth display may be wise if you plan to attend several events each year.

Brochures and SWAG

Create a simple yet stylish handout featuring your key practice areas ready to distribute. You can have additional informative brochures set aside to hand out upon request. 

Stuff We All Get, or SWAG, is a common takeaway item at trade shows. A takeaway item isn’t always necessary, so decide if you really need one. If you do, ensure it’s branded with your law firm’s name and logo. Find out how many attendees are expected so you can order an appropriate amount.

Practical Considerations

Before buying your tickets, you should consider the following:

  • Check your state’s ethics guidelines to ensure you aren’t walking close to the edge of any ethical concerns. 
  • Find out the opening times and plan to schedule an extra hour for set-up before the event and break-down afterward.
  • Scope out the other booths for inspiration for your next show.

Remember, preparation is key. The more time you spend preparing for your legal trade show, the more likely you are to find success.

Top Legal Trade Shows to Attend 

Consider adding the following legal trade shows and conferences to your calendar:

1. ALA Annual Conference and Expo
Host: Association of Legal Administrators
Theme: Balance – Impact – Growth
Location: Seattle, WA
About: Expect big crowds of attorneys and legal professionals at this popular, long-running conference. 

2. ABA Spring Conference
Host: American Bar Association
Theme: Leading Change Through ADR: Strategies for Navigating Our World Today
Location: Las Vegas, NV
About: Learn the latest dispute resolution techniques and trends and connect with dispute resolution leaders and other legal experts.

3. AILA Annual Conference and Webcast on Immigration Law
Host: American Immigration Lawyers Association
Location: Orlando, FL, and Remote
About: This is the big annual conference for legal professionals in the immigration law sphere.

Host: International Legal Technology Association
Location: Orlando, FL
About: ILTACON seeks to foster community collaboration for evolving alongside today’s dynamic legal industry.

5. Legal Geek 
Host: Legal Geek
Location: London, UK
About: This international legal tech event brings thought leaders, attorneys, and legal professionals together to explore modern thinking and future-proof strategies in this celebration of legal innovation.

6. Clio Cloud Conference (ClioCon)
Host: Clio
Location: Nashville, TN, and Virtual
About: A national legal conference focused on tech exploration, networking, and skill-building

7. MTMP: Mass Torts Made Perfect Seminar
Host: Levin Papantonio Rafferty and The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
Location: Las Vegas, NV
About: Learn from the top legal experts in mass torts and network with legal professionals from around the U.S.

8. The Summit — National Solo & Small Law Firm Conference
Host: Atticus, Inc.
Location: Orlando, FL
About: A business-oriented event focused on helping law firms improve their business strategy and marketing. 

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