It was wonderful to see everyone at ACLEA, and I always leave the meeting energized and excited to get back to my own organization and implement some of the great ideas and best practices learned at the conference. To that end, I decided to write a series of blog posts about the many “Aha!” moments experienced during the plenary and breakout sessions, and in talking with fellow attendees.
I wanted to begin by gathering examples of these moments from my ACLEA colleagues. One of the best aspects of membership in ACLEA, in my mind, is the willingness of the membership to share with each other. My request for thoughts was met with enthusiasm from participants for which I am extremely greatful.
Gathering these thoughts has also given me a chance to see the conference from many perspectives, and realize that while every attendee adds something different to my experience, they also each take away something different based on their own filters, backgrounds, and positions in the CLE community.
I will be posting several of these “Aha!” moments from the ACLEA attendees over the next several days, and then will wrap up with my own – although I have to say I’ll probably share more than one as I found the Orlando conference a trove of good ideas.
My aha moment was when I realized a sizeable chunk of ACLEA and the CLE community were carrying on serious industry conversations and I wasn't part of it because I hadn't spend enough time using my social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter. You can't be a serious member of any industry or community which is moving toward social media, if you're not on social media, too.
My AHA moment was during the plenary session “A Whole New World: Social Media & CLE”. I think it was Amy Shapiro from ALI-ABA who was talking about getting other people outside of marketing involved in the organizations social media efforts. She talked about having the program owner be responsible for the Facebook event. In our case, the program coordinator would be responsible for the FB event including things like where to eat, place to go, etc. I thought it was a great idea on how to get others in the organization involved.
My big "AHA" came when I realized that lawyers -- who've always been deadline-driven and worked on a "just-in-time" basis -- are now able to default to knowledge acquisition (and not just knowledge application) in that same way. Ubiquitous information, easily accessed, will force CLE providers to focus on building skills, instead of increasing knowledge.
One of my AHA moments occurred in the first plenary when I realized that through the magic of Twitter there could be a group of people who are not even at the conference discussing (texting?) comments just made by the speaker. In fact, since live audience members do not normally hold conversations with each other while a presentation is being made, the number of persons communicating about what was just said is likely greater on line than in the room.