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Virtual Meetings Taskforce: State Law Resources Case Study

State Law Resources (SLR)  – an AMS client since 2011 – is an international network of independent law firms that helps businesses, trade associations and public policy coalitions navigate the complex and time-consuming process of managing both legal issues and state government relations. Since its inception, events have formed a key component of SLR’s value proposition, offering members a collaborative learning opportunity and a platform to share practice experience and insights into industry trends. When it became clear that SLR would not be able to host their usual in-person events due to safety concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, AMS’s SLR team was faced with the challenge of adapting their annual Fall Meeting to a virtual environment.

The State Law Resources (SLR) Program Planning Committee knew from the outset that they could not duplicate an in-person meeting virtually.  While this strategy might work well for some groups, SLR decided that a virtual meeting would not provide the same benefits to their members. This was primarily due to the fact that a few hours of virtual meetings could not compare with the face-to-face member bonding and client networking aspects of a four-day in-person meeting. With this in mind, the committee decided to look outside the box and offer something completely different to SLR’s member law firms and their clients. They decided that if they were not going to have an in-person meeting, then their goal would be to provide member value in a unique way.

Through a member contact, SLR was able to secure political analyst Charlie Cook of The Cook Political Report to present to the membership and their invited clients. The presentation was scheduled for September – just prior to the 2020 Presidential election – making the event highly topical and timely, while also appealing to a broad audience. An invitation to the virtual event was drafted and sent out to SLR membership.  The membership was encouraged to invite clients and prospective clients to attend – the virtual format meant that they were not restricted in terms of numbers. All attendees were asked to register for the event in advance.

The Charlie Cook virtual presentation yielded over 250 registrants – 180 of whom were invited client guests. To put this into context, a typical in-person SLR meeting yields from 80-100 attendees, including 6-9 client guests. Not only did the invitation and presentation vastly increase SLR members’ visibility amongst potential clients, but due to the registration aspect,  SLR now possesses a large database of contact information for potential clients that can be utilized for marketing and business development.

The feedback SLR received following the Charlie Cook events, from both members and clients, was overwhelmingly positive. The success of this particular event, along with events organized by other client teams, was used by AMS’s Virtual Meetings Taskforce to inform the creation of a Meeting Planning Toolkit. This Toolkit has since been adapted to assist in planning virtual, hybrid or in-person events across various AMS client teams, including International Claim Association (ICA) and the National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC).

AMS provides full-service in-person and virtual meeting planning and management services to support our client needs, including venue selection, registration management, meeting content and logistics support and post-event reporting. We manage more than 70 meetings a year ranging in size from small board meetings to large, multi-day conferences. Regardless of the meeting size or format, AMS is committed to delivering a seamless and holistic experience within scope and budget. Read more on our Meetings & Events service page.