Out-of-town seminars

April 13, 2009
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Given today’s economy, is now the time to be spending big bucks to send attorneys to seminars in other cities? I recently received a brochure about a litigation/workplace strategies seminar presented by a law firm with multiple locations in the U.S. that’s happening next month at a resort in Miami.

The organizers even acknowledge that now’s probably not the best time to be flying attorneys around the country to attend a seminar, but reach out to prospective attendees by saying because of the economy, it’s even more important to invest in learning about employment law changes.

Another way to entice attorneys: the event is offering registration of three people for the price of two.

It’s a deal then to be able to send three attorneys for the price of two, so why shouldn’t a firm take up the offer? Perception, mostly. A long weekend in Miami sounds nice, but is it necessary for an attorney to travel there to obtain the information from the event? Couldn’t he or she get it in another form, i.e. webinar, a local CLE or seminar, instead of traveling to a resort?

Plus, depending on what firm you may work in, if there have been staff layoffs recently or whispers of struggles in the firm, what message does that send to employees if some attorneys are sent to Miami or another far-off location for a seminar?

Seminars in a nice location over a long weekend are great – you get to learn while enjoying a new city or relaxing in your down time, but right now may not the best time to attend one.

What do you think? Is now really a bad time to attend an out-of-town seminar (especially one at a resort) or because of the discounts and struggling economy, should firms attend to get a leg up on the competition?
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