The water was clear and blue, which was fitting. Blue Seven Content was born in a beach town, so traveling to another beach was the perfect way to begin the next journey for the company. This year, we decided to attend the Legal Marketing Association’s 2023 conference in Hollywood, FL.
Blue Seven is a growing company, but we (founders Victoria and Allen) made a decision soon after we started the company to grow slowly. After all, you can’t have a company that does only content if your content is less-than-stellar. Growing too fast leads to the inevitable issue of quality control. But recently, we’ve felt ready for the next steps towards growth, even if that just meant laying down the tracks for us to roll on later.
In other words, we expected to go to Florida to make good connections and possibly gain some new business.
We actually didn’t have high expectations going in. We’d been told numerous times that this conference probably wasn’t up our alley, that we’d be wasting money. To be clear, it does cost a chunk of dollars to even attend these events as a vendor, and that’s before factoring in travel, lodging, meals, and entertainment.
But we went for it, and we brought five of our team members along.
I won’t go into every detail of the trip, because the truth is that every single day was a new experience that felt like a good dream. Aside from the warm weather (and the usual Florida showers), there was a sense of accomplishment. When we started this company, we never thought we’d attend a major conference. It never crossed our minds. We’re just a “content” company, after all.
But we went in with an enthusiasm that was undeniable. We all felt it. We had some of our writers with us along with our English to Spanish translator. Our booth was perfectly placed for traffic, and we had great neighbors (shout out to the On the Map Marketing team!) We also met some great people and companies (special thanks to our new friends at Legal Growth Marketing). We’re also glad to finally get to meet Wayne Pollock in person! Those are just a few of the great connections we made.
The event was wonderful. We had a snafu with power at our booth on day one, but that got resolved quickly after some conversations with the LMA and third-party staff. My one word of caution is to read ALL of the fine print. This year, power was supplied by a third-party and it cost $757 for a single outlet. We aren’t the only ones who missed it, and this is something LMA must address moving forward, especially if they want to attract more vendors like us.
Our booth was great, not because it was the best one there, but because it was our booth. We made it happen.
The best part of this event is that there was no pressure to capitalize. This wasn’t a “do or die” event for us. Actually, we’re in such a good spot that no new business was a perfectly acceptable outcome.
What actually happened was that we fully expect a decent chunk of new business to come from the event. We had wonderful, genuine, and in-depth conversations with so many firms and agencies. The conversations touched on their pain points as well as how our content process differs.
Honestly, I think we’ve surprised some people. Nobody expected a company that focuses ONLY on written content to become a viable presence in this industry. But we’re here, and even with the rise of AI and ChatGPT, we’ve doubled in size (not counting any new business that’s coming).
Victoria and Allen could never have done this alone. The team members who were there and those who couldn’t make it this time are the real winners. We’ve gone from a two-person operation in 2020 to a 19-person operation (writers, editors, translators). Our team is special, and they understand the goals of Blue Seven. They are professional writers with various educational backgrounds (educators, lawyers, admin professionals). As Gen Z would say, the vibe is immaculate.
When we had downtime, which wasn’t often, we made it to the pool, beach, or a restaurant. We spent time on our beautiful balcony (we all shared a giant Airbnb overlooking the water). We spring breaked like it was 1999 (with various new aches none of us had years ago and a considerable amount of Advil from walking and standing for 14 hours a day).
Before I wrap this up, I do want to touch on a subject that was heavy on our minds. Florida has become a negative place for those in the LGBTQ+ community, at least from a governmental and policy standpoint. That bothered us. The laws being passed in Florida are the opposite of how we approach things as a company. We almost made the decision not to attend.
BUT…I’m glad we did. Current LMA President Roy Sexton explained it best – there are people in the LGBTQ+ community who work and live in Florida, and they deserve our support. Boycotting the state from these events hurts the ones who can’t get away. In other words, let’s work on changes from within. So, we showed up and showed our support.
We offered some great giveaways at the event, including free lodging for a weekend in Surfside Beach, SC as well as two content packages! We haven’t announced the winners yet, but that’s coming soon.
That’s all, folks. We just wanted to provide a little update on what we’ve been up to, and we have some more posts related to the event that will delve deeper than an update, including conversations we had with attendees about ChatGPT.