this is your brain on typical conferences

This is your brain on typical conferences. (The sizzle you hear is not the good kind.)

So, why do I point you toward a conference that you may never attend? The Niche Media Conference begins in just over a month, and attorneys may not be its natural audience. But here are a few reasons I share the news with you:

  1. Who knows? You might attend it.
  2. It features large masses of awesomeness, which we mere mortals often have in short supply.
  3. You may be headed to Charleston, S.C., anyway in late February, so who knows?
  4. You may have a law firm or a niche practice that could benefit from new ideas, free-wheeling creativity, and grits.

I have told you about the Niche Media Conference before. And I do so again not because I harbor any illusions that lawyers may suddenly decide to expand their horizons and get their brain muscles flexing in different directions.

I do it because you should do exactly that.

Here, I suppose, is where an excellent, non-tired correspondent would provide some brain research to back up his persuasive argument. But I’m afraid you’re out of luck there. All I can tell you is, most mental breakthroughs I’m familiar with occurred not when I faced the same-same, but when I was challenged by the jaw-droppingly different. How about you?

Niche Media Conference croppedOver here in publication-land, we face a shifting world just as off-putting as that facing the legal profession. We’re reminded that “People don’t read anymore,” that “People want to consume everything on their mobile device,” that “People are moving to entirely gluten-free diets.”

OK, I inserted that last one simply to reward folks who read all the way to the fourth graf. A hat tip to you hardy souls.

But all of those challenges are merely spurs to get us all thinking creatively. Whether you’re in law or in an award-winning niche publication like Arizona Attorney (see what I did there), your success won’t arrive with same-same. But it may arrive if you associate yourself with smart, creative folks.

Which takes me back to Niche. Though my own schedule won’t permit me to head to the Palmetto State next month (Balderdash!), I still get pretty jazzed just examining the Niche website.

Once again, it opens with a fast-moving and humorous video. See a terrific sneak peek here.

And then the website mentions sweet tea, bourbon, shrimp and grits. And ONLY then does it provide the detail about its educational tracks. Priorities, people.

Just as compelling are the seminars, which almost entirely are hands-on and practical-focused. The Niche goal is that when you return home, grits- and bourbon-laden, you also possess a number of ideas you can institute immediately to help your business.

I do not get paid by Niche to say this, nor do they give me a free registration or even a glass of sweet tea. My words are, in the best Southern tradition, a lagniappe (look that up, you Millennials who don’t read anymore).

I offer this testimony as someone who has attended many conferences of the legal variety. And if law practice has to change (please tell me we all agree on that), legal conferences must shift, as well.

We’d do worse than learn from some great videos and, even better, a forward-thinking attitude.

And did I mention bourbon?