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    Why Conferences are Worth It: Observations on ACLEA


      Conventions are an amazing thing, and combined with social media, a more lasting and perfect thing.

      As one attendee who’s been coming here since 1985 told me:  “If I learn one pearl of wisdom, it’s worth the price.”  Personally, I find that being exposed to different people in different lines of work allow me to see creative solutions to problems I’d never otherwise stumble upon.  And that’s what you get at conventions – people from diverse disciplines brought together by a common cause.

      I write this post from the Portofino Hotel in Orlando, where I’m attending the mid-year meeting of ACLEA, The Association for Continuing Legal Education.  Matt Homann of the must-learn-about LexThink brought this organization to my attention.  When Matt talks, I listen.

      What a great place to be.  The people are wonderful.  ACLEA is one of those organizations that just gels.  People talk glowingly of each other, as opposed to other organizations plagued by political infighting, detectable by eye rolling.

      My goal here is twofold:  we’re lining up great talent for our Rocket Matter webinar series as well as getting our name out as speakers.  Our CLE and speaking curriculum evolved out of a need to help our customers keep their business healthy, and at this point, our educational services have taken on a life of their own.

      (If you’d like to download a speaking brochure on our topics to have me speak at your convention, click here).

      Conventions attract  people with a lot of great information and ideas.  I thought I knew a lot about Facebook until I heard Jennifer Flynn (Legal Education Society of Alberta) and Amy Danziger Shapiro (ALI-ABA) discuss how they use it professionally.  And have you ever had a conversation with Kevin O’Keefe about blog and Twitter strategy?  It’s a stream of consciousness fire hose with amazing information.

      I’ll go over some more later –  in fact I’ll probably type up my ACLEA wrap-up on my flight to my next convention, Legal Tech NY, or perhaps on my trip back to Orlando on Wednesday, to case the ABA Midyear Meeting.  This week is a triple-witching for legal conferences.

      And as always these days when you come to a conference, your social media footsteps precede you and pave the way for instant friendships.  I got to meet uMCLE, CLEGina, MarkRosch, and put a face to the name.  And I’ve made a lot more friends (if the delegation from Colorado can forgive my Karaoke performance last night) that I’m sure I’ll keep up with on FB, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

      Some initial pics:

      The Portofino Bay Hotel, site of the ACLEA conference (from Flip HD video).

      Keynote Plenary Session with (left to right) Amy Dazinger Shapiro, Alli Gerkman, Peter Berge, Kevin O’Keefe, and Nathaniel Trelease.

      Unidentified ACLEA attendee performing Karaoke last evening.

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