Guess where I am this week? In Chicago at the ABA TECHSHOW! It is my first time attending a conference since November 2019. You know, the pandemic and all. My hands-down favorite part of the ABA TECHSHOW is the ability to give a live presentation in a room filled with my peers. I presented on increasing cultural competency in the legal profession.
I forgot how fulfilling it is to network with aligned professionals at an industry conference. I thoroughly enjoy meeting with lawyer friends in person, making new connections, and learning about legal technology in the exhibit hall. Here are the ways I am making the most of my time at the conference.
I try to connect meaningfully with lawyers, vendors, and conference organizers. Even remote connections can impact my business in many unpredictable ways!
I interact with attendees in the hallway, walk up and speak to the speaker after a presentation, and take notes.
I participate in conference networking events. Usually, I am not into networking events, but I am so happy to be around real people that I will attend everything I can! I am notoriously bad at names, but at this conference, I have made a concerted effort to jot down names so I can remember them when I interact with new colleagues.
I am adopting an attitude of “yes.” When invited to lunch, dinner, or an off-conference activity, I will say yes, rather than staying in my room by myself and watching Bravo TV. I made it all the way here, and I intend to enjoy Chicago. I will take breaks to recharge by myself. I am an extrovert, but even this level of people-related activity can be exhausting.
I resolve to visit the swag-rich booths and bring back goodies for my kids. After a long day, I am also all about appreciating free vendor margaritas!
I choose to enjoy myself. My room’s view of the Chicago River and architecture is spectacular!
I will eat the food. Chicago is an actual food city, and the food choices are plentiful. I wish I had several stomachs to take in the culinary delights before returning to the nonfoodie scene of northwest Arkansas, where most food choices leave much to the imagination.
The ABA TECHSHOW has energized me and made me look forward to attending another event in person. I hope that COVID-19 will go away, so more lawyers have more opportunities to meet together again. Have you attended any in-person events? Are you looking forward to attending any? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.
Iffy Ibekwe is the principal attorney and founder of Ibekwe Law, PLLC. She is an estate planning attorney evangelist for intergenerational wealth transfer with effective wills and trusts. Iffy is writing her first book on culturally competent estate planning, available in 2022 (prayers up!). She graduated from The University of Texas School of Law and has practiced law for over 14 years. Iffy can be reached by email at email@example.com, on her website, and on Instagram @thejustincaselawyer.