This year’s WSG IBA Networking Luncheon is experiencing record registration with 120 members expected to attend and a 12% increase over last year’s participation. With international professionals coming together from across the WSG network, it’s a good time to ensure that your membership is optimized to make the most out of your attendance. From networking functions and luncheons to regional meetings, here are a few tips to make the most of your time – and membership:
1. Do your research
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a networking event is to study the people who are attending. Take advantage of WSG’s event pages to see who’s attending and use key search functions to make connections with individuals by firm, region, areas of practice and industries. Also, don’t forget to make sure your own profile is up to date.
2. Join groups
By joining a WSG association, practice or industry group you’ll automatically receive invitations to events, be notified when articles and news are published and have more opportunities to build relationships with professionals across the network.
3. Utilize the WSG mobile site
When traveling, it remains important to stay in touch. Considering the responsive abilities of the WSG website across tablets and smart phones, access to professionals and expertise can be done on the go. Visit m.worldservicesgroup.com to get familiar with the WSG’s mobile capabilities.
4. Strike early and introduce yourself to someone new
The IBA Luncheon will offer a strategic networking opportunity before lunch is served. Consider reviewing the attendee list in advance to determine if there are professionals you want to connect with.
Make a point to branch out and put the depth and breadth of the membership to work for you.
5. Follow Up
Aside from utilizing email and social media, the WSG website is a great place to stay in touch with people you meet, and reinforce your network connections. With practice groups, industry groups and association groups, like the IBA, WSG provides the resources to support your valuable connections.
We look forward to welcoming over 120 international delegates to the IBA Luncheon with the goal of building relationships and increasing referrals and collaborations throughout the network.
An important cornerstone to any organization’s business success is a well thought-out marketing strategy. While the legal, accounting and investment banking professions may be steeped in distinguished tradition, the marketing world is dictated by vogue trends and cultural shifts.
The two worlds come together when firms determine the clients they want to attract and the messages they need to convey to engage those clients. The recent Ford Trend Report for 2015 focused on the new client powerhouse: Generation Z. This generation is prone to conduct independent research through social media, rather than asking peers and mentors for advice. They are more likely to take the risk and start a business and less likely to pursue an advanced degree than a Millennial (Ford Trend Report for 2015). The new Generation Z client will still need all the legal, accounting and investing advice that earlier generations needed, but they will seek it and conduct “pre-purchase” research from a completely different source.
Enter: World Services Group. WSG continues to develop new platforms to help members and their respective marketing groups to showcase businesses and leverage efforts across new media. WSG hosted the 'Join the Conversation' webinar series to help members understand the world of SEO, social media and content marketing, as well as rolled out the new Practice Group Blogs page and introduced a mobile app. All of these tools provide enhanced exposure to member organizations, create searchable content on the web, and ultimately help to increase business opportunities. Continue doing great business as usual and being part of the Network – We’ll continue with our mission to stay in tune with the current trends and enabling member firms to remain competitive in today’s global multidisciplinary services environment.
As the year’s end approaches, it is a great time to reflect on what you have accomplished and which WSG opportunities you will leverage next year. Where is our firm benefitting? Where are our professionals participating? What can we continue to do and improve upon to increment overall value?
WSG’s previous Chairman, Sergio Michelsen, laid out an ambitious plan for the organization throughout his Chairmanship including: alliance partnerships; mobile meeting app; practice group meetings; manage referrals and more. Having successfully implemented the overall objectives, it may have left members wondering what part they play in creating individual success. So, we created a quick member checklist that can be easily accomplished and evaluated. Go over this list and pat yourself on the back for the ones that are marked off. As for the ones that have an empty box next to them…
- Make sure you have downloaded the new WSG Member-to-Member Mobile Meeting App. Not only does this advancement in WSG tools allow ease of meeting materials and updates, it allows members to communicate directly through the messaging feature.
- Sign up for Practice Groups. They are a sure way of connecting with other members, creating thought leadership, developing rapport and adding value to the group. Plus they provide an excellent opportunity to focus your membership in areas that are most important to you and your firm.
- Use the Referral Tool to track referrals and collaborations inbound and outbound. Gage how being a part of WSG results in increased referrals and branding.
- Write and/or read a WSG Blog,Practice Group Blog or member Article and get insight on the latest trends and thoughts while boosting your content development and increasing your industry expertise rankings.
- The new and improved My WSG page allows you to easily enhance your professional identity online, build relationships with members and groups, and discover and share news and insights on topics that are the most important to you and your firm. All WSG members have an account. Login and begin powering up your profile and preferences today.
When you and your firm seek to differentiate yourself from competitors, know that WSG is working with you and for you and your clients. Visit the ‘Resource Center’ tab on the WSG website to decide which opportunities will make a difference for you next year, or just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We operate in an increasingly dynamic and global business environment. Things are changing quickly and what is considered normal today only, a few years ago would have spun heads. Let’s face it, using 3D printers to create three dimensional objects, wearable electronics to monitor our health and communicate, and Facebook using lasers to beam internet access to dead zones were no more than outrageous fantasies of daydreamers even 3 years ago. The changes in every industry are happening so fast that many are still figuring out how to adopt the last launch before the next 3 have availability dates.
We understand that for the professional services world, adoption of new communication methods can prove even more difficult than in other industries. After all, this industry is meant to provide stability to clients; tweeting, commenting and posting for the world to see with no take-backs is not exactly natural. Some firms have decided that a “wait and see” approach is best. Data from the 2014 Greentarget survey says otherwise. Over 74% of in-house counsel mentioned attorney-authored articles and speeches as somewhat or very important in selecting outside firms for hire, and over 69% of in-house counsel listed attorney-authored blogs as somewhat or very important in selecting outside firms for hire. So now what?
- Start by doing your research and understanding your audience. Who you are writing for? Where are they getting their information and what problems do they need solved? What pages and content on your site are viewed most?
- Set objectives based on your firm’s/clients’ needs and desires (as opposed to everything that is possible); implement what makes the most sense and what the firm can handle (i.e., blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter).
- Provide regular, fresh content. Make sure your website and social media accounts are kept current and utilize a variety of formats, topics and experts.
- Leverage and promote content across firm and WSG channels. The number one rule today is to increase the impact of your content by leveraging it across sources that are highly viewed and regarded by your clients (not the world). Your affiliation with WSG helps to elevate your authority and relevance as a firm among the industry. Remember content in today’s world of cross referencing at your fingertips is only as good as what comes with it on the search engines.
- Set measurable short-term and long-term goals; determine and implement measurement tools; review regularly.
Know that the statistics are real, focus on what works for you and make sure you are optimizing the power and reach of the WSG network to efficiently and effectively distribute and promote your expertise and experience to the world.
The 2014 WSG Asia Pacific Regional meeting was held in Shanghai, China and hosted by local firm Dacheng Law Offices. The meeting welcomed over 35 international professionals from 17 jurisdictions. The meeting consisted of panel discussions, valuable guest speaker presentations as well as several opportunities to network among the WSG Asia Pacific members. A Welcome dinner on Thursday night was held on the Huangpu River Cruise.
The special event held on Saturday was a Seminar & Tour of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the economic trade initiative created by the Chinese government to promote international investment from the financial and service sector industries.
According to the feedback received during the Asia Pacific Regional Meeting, Guest Speaker Vivian Jiang’s Presentation: “The Renaissance of Professional Firms in 2020 and Beyond” and Panel Discussion: "Offshore M&A in China" were the top rated presentations.
To the left we have YT Takenaka (Takenaka Partners LLC) and WSG Chairman Sergio Michelsen network during the welcome during the welcome cocktail reception. To the right we have Saturday participants studying the model layout of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone at an on-site exhibition hall.
For a full list of presentations and photos please visit the WSG 2014 Asia Pacific Regional Meeting Post Event Page.
This year WSG held the very first Meeting of the Americas joining North America, Latin America and the Caribbean into one meeting to create new integrated program sessions and networking opportunities. The meeting held in Miami welcomed over 84 WSG participants from over 49 different jurisdictions.
The entire event kicked off with an Anti-Corruption Roundtable of in-house counsel and experts. Topics included the foreign corruption practices act (FCPA), expert discussion on risk exposure, trends, policies, avoidance strategies and planning and compliance. In-house counsel from top multinationals were invited to attend the session followed by a reception and dinner for all those in attendance of the roundtable and the Americas Meeting.
The Americas Meeting program welcomed Timothy Ryan, Managing Director of Kroll, who apprised the group on recent cyber security events, and topics and changes being implemented in the ever changing world of technology. A panel on professional firm risk management included Eileen Garczynski, Senior V.P. & Partner of Ames & Gough, who participated with other WSG member expert panelists to discuss professional liability and crisis management. Judge Jennifer D. Bailey, Administrative Judge, Circuit Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, described the designation of Miami as an international centre for arbitration. These and all the participants and topics generated thought provoking discussion that established interest for more integrated meetings.
WSG 2104 Meeting of the Americas Participant reviews included:
Excellent Network Opportunities Great Idea Sharing of Knowledge of other practices (investment & Accounting). – Anonymous delegate, WSG 2014 Meeting of the Americas
I liked the Americas format and most attendees seem to agree. – Anonymous delegate, WSG 2014 Meeting of the Americas
Over 65 delegates gather for the 2014 Americas Anti-Corruption Roundtable on Thursday.
WSG delegates enjoy networking opportunities at the cocktail reception following the Roundtable discussion.
For a full list of presentations and photos please see the WSG 2014 Meeting of the Americas Post Event Page.
The WSG 2014 Africa/Middle East Regional was a success with over 20 WSG delegates from over 10 different jurisdictions. The host firm ENSafrica welcomed the delegates at their Cape Town office restaurant, 14[fourteen] which offered breath-taking views of Table Mountain. Program highlights held in ENSafrica’s state-of-the-art auditorium, focused on topics such as The Changing Political/Economic Environment in the Africa/Middle East Region and Multinational Law Firms Friends or Foe. The Friday program concluded at the traditional South African Moyo restaurant on the famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
“It was great to see everyone representing their jurisdictions come together to share their valuable ideas, thoughts and opinions. We are looking forward to next year.” Koos Pretorius, ENSafrica
WSG's 2014 Africa/Middle East Regional Meeting photos:
Michael Schilling, ENSafrica (Mauritius) giving a presentation on Lessons Learned from the Expansion of Multinational Law Firms Into Eastern Europe.
View of Table Mountain
Delegates enjoy cocktails on the balcony of Moyo Restaurant on the Waterfront.
To see the full list of presentations and photos please visit our WSG 2014 Africa/Middle East Regional Meeting Post Event Page.
Referrals and Collaborations are an important part of a firm’s networking portfolio. Such relationships foster trust and promote new and innovative connections around the world. WSG understands the importance of keeping track of your referrals and collaborations. Our new tool makes it easier to keep track of referral and collaboration details such as a brief overview of the facts, referrer/referee, type of transaction, and fees involved. It allows you to easily see immediate benefits of your membership not only through referral business, but also through less tangible advantages such as servicing of the client, speaking engagements, the free advice policy and many more collaborative opportunities. Many members have begun using this tool since we first launched it last month, and we invite you to join in and start considering the many benefits your membership has already offered your firm.
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