During the LMA Midatlantic conference this week, Julia Bennett of Venable LLP brought to life how to plan an event that will drive business development success for the lawyers. Julia was joined on stage by event expert Kisme Williams and Venable lawyer, Todd Harrison. 

It was very interesting to hear Todd (who is a hugely successful lawyer) say that the phone does not just ring, you need to be out there showcasing your expertise. And worst case scenarios, if you are not, then your client/future client is likely hearing from the competition!

When it comes to events Julia and Kisme have developed a winning formula that starts with your physical presence. Does it fit your intended objective (i.e. a confidential space to meet?). Secondly, have you gated your lawyers attending? Do they know what their objectives are? Finally, how is your relationship with the organiser?

Julia explained that whilst return on investment (ROI) is most valuable, they have moved to return on objective (ROO) as they know that setting measurable, specific objectives is most valuable in the short term (i.e connections to key clients, how well exposed is the brand). 

Julia and Todd both agreed that having trust in each other was critical. 

The overriding message was that the lawyers are interested in speaking to the few that can provide business.