Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23, 2013 Sections Open Night

Working a Crowd is FUN!
I participated in the WSBA Sections Open Meeting Wednesday, January 23, 2013 using a backing board I bought at a thrift store as the main prop. I had had great ambitions for decorating it, but in the end simply printed five key slides from a powerpoint presentation intended to describe the section to newcomers, plus a sixth slide that was simply a title.
On the title slide I includes the tinyurl version of the section home page ( ) , because the current URL is just too long ( ). Too many webdesigners have yet to figure out that sometimes URLs are printed, and therefore should be compact; fortunately tinyURL lets you use a custom string so long as you're the first to submit it; thus I used "wsbawptl" to denote WSBA's WPTL section.
The placement of the slides on the board reflected what I thought Open Night visitors were looking for. The prime positions were the top on either side, since that's what people read first. The section name naturally went top left; top right went to the slide describing our new program of leadership opportunities. Unlike most sections, we can't promise to provide substantive help in building a law practice; we're not law practice oriented. But we can offer the opportunity to get things done, network and so forth. I did notice people reading the top slides so I hope this was a good choice.
I supplemented the backboard with a small deck of section business cards that included section name, logo, a slogan and the tinyURL. I don't know whether that was an effective item but a few people took the cards.
I also included a dish of chocolate candies. This seems to attract people. In keeping with the "World Peace" theme, I chose tiny "Dove" chocolates. Interestingly, one person pointed out that Dove was not fair trade chocolate, so there was a strong chance that it have been made in part with child or slave labor. Well, that was a learning opportunity for me!
Many visitors seemed interested by the Section's concept, but reluctant to expend their one free Section membership here, since they were just starting out in law practice and needed all the help they could get. I encouraged them to contact me and get put on our mailing list regardless.
Former, and most likely future, Section Chair Nandini Rao stopped by with a friend, and took this picture. Thanks!

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