Making the Most of Networking Events

Happy June! I am excited about all the in-person networking events that are happening!
In the past two weeks, I was invited to and went out of my way to attend an LMA event in Philly, a summer associate welcome party, a Women Attorney and Client country club outing, and a NALP Board cocktail reception.
Why is it important to attend these events?
Because whether you’re a seasoned professional, or new to the industry, your relationships are key to your success and fulfillment.
I have been a member of NALP and LMA for more than 30 years, and each time I attend an event or conference, I still meet new people.
Our legal marketing and recruiting industry are growing professions. This means that there are always new colleagues to meet (and learn from).
At both the LMA and NALP events I attended recently, I also reconnected with colleagues I have known for years.
I have come to believe that maintaining relationships is even more than creating new ones.
Because trust is the key to building long-lasting relationships. And trust takes time and follow-up.
For example, you meet someone new at a networking event and you have a great conversation, but it ends there. Versus, you have a great conversation, you mention an article you read, you promise to send the link, and you do. Which encounter lays the foundation for building a long-term, trusted relationship?
I have been a “vendor” to the legal industry for 28 years, but I never go to these networking events to sell my training or placement services. I go to listen to what clients and potential clients need. I ask questions like:
  • What needs are you seeing today that are different that you saw pre-COVID in your firm?
  • What are your partners struggling with the most in terms of legal talent?
  • What practice groups are busiest at your firm?
I ask questions to learn about what’s changing and where their needs are.
Making time to attend in-person networking events is an investment. Before you attend your next one, ask yourself, “What’s my intention and what will I do before, during and after this event to make it the best investment possible?”

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