Did you know a wave of German and Czech immigrants settled in Texas starting in the 1830s, and that their influence can still be felt today throughout Hill Country? That’s why, for the past 19 years, Slack Davis Sanger has hosted an annual Oktoberfest in Austin. Attendees at this upscale event include judges, politicians, business leaders, and, most importantly, referring attorneys.
Lawyers can’t specialize in all aspects of law, so it’s not uncommon for cases to be referred to another lawyer. Perhaps the case is not in the originating attorney’s area of practice. Or maybe the attorney does not have a history of success in that type of case. Or even that the case will require too much money and time for the firm.
For firms, picking a successful referring attorney is important because you want your client to be handled with expertise, experience, and compassion even though you are not personally handling the case. After all, they originally came to you for a reason.
Given this market of referrals, it is imperative to keep the firm, its attorneys, and areas of specializing top-of-mind; hence, the production of what some call the best networking event of the year: Slack Davis’ annual Oktoberfest event.
In 2022, Spire rebranded the event as “Slacktoberfest” after the firm’s managing partner and international aviation expert, Mike Slack. And in 2023, the firm combined the annual Slacktoberfest with a celebration of its 30-year anniversary.
The event utilized an overarching “where bier and brats meet the bench” theme. At least for one day, attendees dropped the suits for schnitzel and pleaded for a prost to 30 years.
An additional “Barton meets Bavaria” tagline was also utilized to communicate the event’s new venue location at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. The Omni’s indoor/outdoor pavilion with a lawn overlooking Hill Country served as the perfect setting for this professional event.
An oversized postcard served as the invitation for all guests, which included a large “bier” barrel as the prominent icon, with other iconic elements including an alpine hat and accordion. All of these icons were a muted, deep blue color to serve as the backdrop to important event information and clever headlines across all event materials.
Immediately upon receiving the branded invitations and seeing the social posts, emails, and a venue change, invitees knew beyond “wiesn’able” doubt that this year was going to be bigger and better than ever.
The Omni Barton Creek was transformed into a Bavarian biergarten lounge, including a comfortable couch seating area in front of the band stage. Other items that were designed and produced for the event were pillows, napkins, signage, standing flags, large-scale banners, banner stands, and large light-up letters that spelled “SLACKTOBERFEST,” which served as a beloved attendee photo op. Tabletop pieces (i.e., clings and table tents) introduced the brand messaging to guests and were paired with themed floral arrangements.
And, of course, no Oktoberfest would be complete without authentic German food, beer, and a proper prost to 30 years. Hundreds of guests attended, enjoyed, and networked alongside the Slack Davis attorneys and staff, making it one of the most successful events to date.
No doubt there is a lot of coordination of moving parts (planning, vendor sourcing, themed menu, event design, print production, setup, tear down, budget tracking, etc.), and a decent sized budget that goes into planning and executing an event of this scale. But the benefits of doing so, including building personal and professional relationships and furthering your brand message in a memorable, sophisticated manner, cannot be understated.
If you’ve been thinking about doing a branded event, this is your sign to do it (literally), and you don’t have to go it alone. Let a team of seasoned professionals at Spire handle the nitty gritty, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the process (and eventually, the event).
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