It’s time to begin packing our bags and making arrangements for our absence in our firms while we are in Nashville! If you’re like me, it’s a very hectic time leading up to conference. I want to send you my best wishes for safe and uneventful travel.
I hope you’re prepared for another amazing ALA Annual Conference & Expo experience, bigger and better than ever before! You should be ready for compelling, relevant and game-changing content, presented in robust formats, as well as many networking opportunities with colleagues, business partners and speakers. As you get ready to leave for Nashville, take these thoughts and tools with you.
Conference begins on Sunday with a Welcome Reception with some added fun. You’ll have a chance to network, eat, drink, buy auction items, and dance to the Adam Doleac Band and the Mustang Dancers. Check out the conference schedule. We will kick off the education portion of our conference on Monday morning with Keynote Alison Levine, a history-making polar explorer and mountaineer who served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition and has completed the Adventure Grand Slam, a feat that fewer than 40 people in the world have achieved. Come be inspired! The excellence continues with two more general sessions and many more educational sessions over the ensuing three days.
The Conference App is ready for download. You can use the App to organize your schedule, view handouts, and receive alerts with up-to-the-minute information. Go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download the App to your Apple or Android device. To utilize all features of the App, you will need to log in using your email address (as your username) and ALA member ID number (as your password). To make life easier for you, I strongly encourage you to download the App and log in before departing for Nashville because the initial download can take some time due to the amount of data being loaded and requires a strong Wi-Fi connection. The App will remain on the LexisNexis page while loading. If the App closes, restarting the device should solve the issue. If you don’t plan to use a mobile device, you still can access all of the same great content through the web version.
Back by popular demand are Tech Docs! Thanks to the generosity of some ALA volunteers, on site there will be about 30 Tech Docs to help you with your questions about the Conference App. You will find them walking the halls as well as in the ALA Booth in the Business Solutions Marketplace. These Tech Doc volunteers will be wearing red arm bands to be easily identified.
I can’t wait to meet up with friends, new and old, at the Welcome Reception on Sunday evening. Following the Welcome Reception, you can enjoy our very own Blue Jay Café. Be sure to attend the Networking Reception in the Business Solutions Marketplace on Tuesday and mingle with all of our great Business Partners in a relaxed and festive exhibit hall setting. If you miss the Blue Jay Café on Sunday, you can catch it on Tuesday after the Networking Reception. On Wednesday, enjoy the Association Awards Dinner in the Grand Ballroom at Music City Center. Immediately after dinner, we will head to the Ryman Auditorium for the Grand Finale: VIP Treatment featuring music by singer-songwriter/musician Rick Springfield, followed by the Dessert & Dancing Finale Party in the Broadway Ballroom East at the Omni Nashville Hotel.
Come explore the Business Solutions Marketplace and ALA Live! When in the Business Solutions Marketplace, in addition to exploring the 200 business partner booths, be sure to visit the ALA Booth where you can see demonstrations of the latest and greatest services ALA has to offer its members. Next door to the Business Solutions Marketplace is ALA Live! where you can experience interactive, engaging education in new ways with our Ignite Talks, BOLD (Business of Law Discussions) Bites and Interviews with individuals such as Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, J. B. Ruhl of Vanderbilt Law School, and Gary D. Housepian, Executive Director of Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, among others.
If you’re a CLM, you’ll enjoy what we have to offer. Included are exclusive benefits for CLMs such as breakfast Monday morning with keynote speaker Alison Levine and a private CLM Lounge. Are you thinking about becoming certified? You may want to check out the Monday session “CLM under the Hood” to learn about the CLM program requirements. You also will hear how the CLM exam is developed.
Did you get to see the Law Office of the Future at last year’s conference? This year we have an opportunity to visit the Conference Room of the Future being presented by ASD, Geiger, Herman Miller, Interface Flooring, Technical Innovation, Skanska, Mortensen, Illuminations, and Maharam. See trends of the future space designs for conference centers in law firms!
After Conference, you will be able to experience Nashville and enjoy the Memorial Day holiday after conference. Click on http://www.alanet.org/conf/2015/hotel-travel.asp and click on the “Things to Do in Nashville” to check out Nashville and surrounding area.
My final suggestion is to be sure you check the local weather, and as with all ALA conferences, dress should be business casual. Please, no jeans, shorts, or flip-flops.
I have been looking forward to this week for the last 16 months. I can’t wait to showcase the many of the components of ALA’s 2015 Annual Conference & Expo. I feel confident that you will enjoy this annual conference experience as we explore the opportunities to lead our firms and businesses into the future… and, of course, have some great fun in the process!
See you in Nashville!
Lorri T. Salyards, CLM, is the 2015 ALA Annual Conference Chair. She is Firm Administrator at Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP in Denver, Colorado. She has more than 25 years of experience in legal administration and has served in various ALA leadership roles. Salyards is a published author in the ALA Management EncyclopediaSM, The Colorado Lawyer, and ALA News. She is an Adjunct Professor in the University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Master of Science in Legal Administration program, was a Scholar in the Lagos Business School Programme for Law Firm Owners & Managers, and is a Fellow to the College of Law Practice Management.