Counsel On Call (COC), an innovative legal services company with offices across the country, sought to increase its exposure to one of its main target audiences: decision-making attorneys within the corporate legal departments of FORTUNE 500 companies. COC wanted to be seen as a thought leader in the industry, on the cutting edge of the efficient and cost-saving delivery of legal services.
A very exclusive and challenging audience to reach effectively, SPR and COC created an annual event specifically for these high-level attorneys: the Discovery Symposium.
The two-day event features panel sessions comprised solely of in-house attorneys (who were involved in determining the topics of the Symposium), with Counsel On Call executives moderating the panel sessions. There are networking sessions for the attendees and the COC business development (BD) team, including an evening dinner and entertainment session with top songwriting talent from COC’s headquarters city (Nashville). The event is kept small by design -- with only in-house attorneys in attendance, no vendors or law firms -- so as not to blend in with the standard industry trade conferences populated by vendors and hundreds of attendees. This also provides an open forum at which attorneys can speak freely among their peers about the problems they face.
SPR is responsible for all aspects of the event, including list building and electronic communications to potential attendees, developing the programming for both days, leading conference calls between panelists, securing event and hotel space, creating menus, booking talent for the songwriter’s night, writing Symposium materials and creating presentations, coordinating research and message points on attendees for COC’s BD team, and completely staffing the event from beginning to end.
The event has been a success from its first iteration, when 35 in-house attorneys attended and COC generated more than $3.5 million in new revenue within eight months. In recent years, the company has had to limit the number of registrants to the event to 75 so the open forum, candid dialogue environment is preserved.
“Without a doubt, the work of Chad, Virginia and the SPR team has helped make Discovery Symposium our single largest revenue driver each year,” said Vince Verna, CEO of Counsel On Call. “We use the time at the event to grow closer to our existing clients and introduce our services to new prospects, all while providing them the opportunity to hear directly from their peers and form relationships with them. The genuine nature of having our clients in front of their peers, talking about the success they’ve had working with us, is the best testimonial a company can receive. And in a very organic manner it has become one of the most anticipated events in our industry.”
With eight Discovery Symposiums complete, Counsel On Call now works with one-third of the FORTUNE 100 and dozens of other large corporations. The Symposium has generated more than $40 million in new revenue for the company over that time -- a 50 to 1 ROI -- with costs budgeted and managed by SPR. Equally important, the Symposium has dramatically expanded COC’s stature as one of the most knowledgeable and innovative providers in the legal marketplace.