As we near the halfway point of 2022, in-person conferences are back and fully in swing with many participants enthusiastically returning to events for the first time in two years. That said, expect a bumpy road ahead given the two thirds vaccination rate nationwide and recent reports of many large gatherings ending up as super spreader events. Which somewhat counter-intuitively presents enormous opportunities for lawyers avid to re-establish connections and market through in-person events. Because there’s never been a better time for local and curated “micro events.”
Here’s what I mean.
Although in-person events have resumed, many lawyers, particularly solos, remain anxious about attending large events because of COVID risk. Yet they still want to resume contacts with peers. That opens the door to micro-events: small group gatherings of colleagues who are potential referral sources whom you haven’t seen in a while. You can spring for coffee and refreshments and simply chat – or if you’re feeling more ambitious, invite a local expert to speak on a topic of mutual interest like law firm marketing or substantive matters.
If you miss interacting with potential clients as opposed to lawyers, you can take the same approach by offering to speak in person to small groups of a dozen or less (or whatever size you’re comfortable with). Pre-pandemic, a tiny turnout would be classified as a disappointment, but today, it’s a safety precaution. Plus, small groups allow for a more intimate conversation and are likely to yield more solid leads than speaking to a large crowd.
Finally, with summer just around the corner, opportunities exist for a host of outdoor events from picnics to farmers’ markets to swim meets. You can sponsor and attend these events and maybe set up a table or booth to give away law firm swag and field questions. And if you want to interact with other lawyers, you can host a picnic, a barbeque, a softball game or an outdoor hike.
It may take some time, but eventually in person events should return to normal and not require attendees to risk their health to come. Until that time, lawyers can bridge the gap between the online world and in-person world with micro-events that afford the best of both.
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