In the aftermath of this month’s Legal Administrators and Legal Marketing Association annual conferences, you may be thinking about how best to manage and act upon the information and contacts you gathered from the events. There’s great value in not just the onsite experience, but also the insights and knowledge you can apply to your daily work. You also want to claim a solid return on your investment of time and money to attend the event.

Since time has a way of clouding one’s memory, consider some common-sense strategies for recalling, organizing and benefiting from that treasure-trove of information. And with the Association of Legal Administrators (ALM) annual conference and exhibition coming up next week, now is a good time to think in advance about how to manage your intake from the next event even better.

Review notes and handouts promptly – How often do we leave a conference or meeting and neglect to organize our notes until weeks, maybe months later? It usually happens when we face a new challenge and recall, “Oh, yeah, I remember that was covered at the event.” Within the first week after an event, review your handwritten notes or scribbles on paper, business cards, napkins or anywhere you thought to note something you wanted to remember. Take time to peruse all of the handouts and brochures you received from presenters or exhibitors. You’re likely to find more valuable information there that didn’t get broadcast to a live audience.

Break it down to key takeaways – Don’t get lost in all of the detail from presentations when a key nugget or takeaway might be all you need. Consider using the conference brochure to jog your memory. The event/organizer’s website also can be a great source for retrieving information, sometimes including complete text from presentations. You also can usually get copies of presentation slides or other handouts by directly emailing presenters. If you have colleagues who also attended, share observations and key thoughts.

Get busy with business cards – Even in this age of smart phones and social media, industry conferences are still the place for exchanging business cards. Some conference pros suggest grouping these into two groups – one for those secondary contacts to add to your address book and the other for those you want to reach out to right away. Digital scanning equipment and software, including phone apps, can help store and manage these. If you told anyone you will be in touch, make sure you do it. You may want to jump-start a dialog by inviting them to connect via LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter. Even a quick email makes a great first follow-up.

Share what you learned – Whether it’s to one colleague or an entire company of co-workers, chances are others will benefit from your takeaways and experiences. Sharing also further validates the resources you expended to attend the event.

Take action – The information and insights gained are only useful if put into action. Make a conscious effort to apply what you learned.

For more information, contact Randy Labuzinski at or 773-405-7583.