800 Attendees at LMA National Conference

Legal Marketing AssociationI haven’t been to an LMA meeting in 5 years, and this one in Denver is a very pleasant surprise.  Many longtime and senior members of the marketing profession were there. There is great networking – I barely made it 30 feet into the Hyatt Regency lobby when I immediately ran into people I knew.

There are 800 attendees at the LMA conference, according to conference co-chair Despina Kartson.  This is up from 530 last year. There are 190 CMOs and Marketing Directors here.

LMA is issuing the Your Honor Awards in batches.  Here’s the first batch of first place winners (like the early awards given out in the Oscars):

  • Identity: (logo and stationery)  Baker & McKenzie with zünpartners – branding a firm for growth
  • Firmwide brochure: Bingham McCutchen – inSecurities practice brochure
  • Annual report: Blank Rome “A Year Marked by Change”
  • Announcements: Bingham McCutchen – Bingham-McKee Nelson Announcement
  • Newsletter or Alert: Stikeman Elliott – Registration reform

The new conference company is a great improvement.  Before the conference I got an email with a bar code in it.  I printed it out and scanned it upon registering at the hotel.  Instantly my information was prepared for me at a counter 10 feet away. The whole thing took 60 seconds.  Very innovative.


I think that a higher-level crowd is at this conference – I see more CMOs and Marketing Directors than in past conferences. One factor is that the full member registration fee is $1195, and it’s $1645 for non-member – so attending the conference has reached an expense level where attendance is not given out as a perk to marketing assistants, for example. With law firm cuts in budgets, it’s become a destination that only the CMO can justify.


Yesterday was the first ever pre-conference session for lawyers.  About 25 people attended, with the crowd growing to 40 by lunchtime.  The best received speakers were Alvidas Jasin (soon to leave Thompson Hine for a job at BTI Consulting), Jim Durham, CMO of McGuireWoods, and Rick Klau of Google.


Attendees were grumbling that there is no Wi-Fi at the conference, but I anticipated this and brought my plug in "skycard" that gets me online using a cell-phone connection.


The programs have better speakers this year too—more CMOs and marketing directors and fewer consultants at the podium.  I want to hear from the in-house marketers, because they’re the ones on the firing line.  Tomorrow is broken into 4 tracks: business of law, client service, business development, and public relations. 

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