Tips and Tricks for LegalTech New York
For those of you who have never been to LegalTech New York (LTNY), it is regarded as “the most important” legal technology conference in the world. Thousands of attendees converge from various continents to the New York Hilton in Mid-Town Manhattan from January 30 through February 1, 2012, to hear panelists and speakers disseminate the latest and most relevant content pertaining to the profession. The bulk of LTNY consists of education, where there are various “tracks” such as Information Management, Technology in Practice, and Corporate Law Departments designed to provide tips and best practices for lawyers, law firms, and corporate legal departments. Moreover, there are keynote speakers during morning and lunchtime sessions on various cutting edge topics by high ranking members in the industry. Last, but not least, the Exhibitor Hall showcases literally hundreds of vendors with booths conducting live demonstrations, handing out marketing materials, and engaging their customer base in person.
To get the most out of LTNY, here are some tips and tricks that you can use:
- Plan a head – Visit www.LegalTechShow.com and download the brochure to map out your itinerary for all of the tracks that you are interested in attending.
- Research – Remember that this is a technology show, so research the vendors that will be in the exhibit hall. If your firm needs calendaring, docketing, eDiscovery, or early case assessment (“ECA”) software solutions to name a few, research the vendors that will be there so that you can get a live demonstration, attend their workshop, and/or speak with a representative about your specific needs.
- Communicate – Attendees are surprised when they Tweet about or participate in a LinkedIn group discussion about what they want or need to see at “The Show” (as it is affectionately referred to), and have various vendors respond who are listening. Tweet using #LTNY or #LegalTech hash tags to communicate with other attendees, including organizing a “Tweet-up” where you all can meet other like minded attendees during The Show.
- Attend – You will be surprised how many thousands of people are at the hotel and in the keynote sessions versus those that are actually inside the workshops themselves. It is imperative that people attend the workshops. Often times, handouts are laid out on all of the chairs in preparation and many of them have to be recycled. Attending is the most important reason to go to The Show in the first place.
- Meet the presenters – I have been fortunate to ask questions and meet multiple panelists and workshop presenters from past conferences. We have connected via LinkedIn and have had the pleasure of working together in various capacities since then. Bring business cards and ask for them as well. Get connected via LinkedIn and touch base from time to time so that they remember you.
- If cost is an issue, visit the Exhibitor Hall and attend Keynote Sessions – Some firms and organizations cannot afford to send their employees to LTNY. There are other ways to take advantage of The Show. Registering for the Exhibitor Hall and attending the keynote sessions are usually free to the public. Please visit www.LegalTechShow.com to confirm and plan accordingly.
- Take the “Swag” and Marketing Materials – Companies spend thousands of dollars on the developing marketing materials and creative concepts of toys and trinkets to highlight their brand. Not only should you take them, but read them to see if you have any questions before The Show ends.
- Get on the Guest List for Receptions and Night-Time Activities – This is a tricky part. Many of the receptions are private for vendors’ clients or specific to only law firms/potential clients. Some of the receptions are publicized in the LTNY brochure and your registration may get you in to one or two. My recommendation would be to see if you can get on a guest list by contacting some of the sponsors to see if they are hosting events during LTNY or ask any of your existing clients/vendors the same.
This can be a very fun and exciting conference. It is a wonderful introduction to legal technology. Depending on whether or not you are a lawyer, litigation support professional, or a vendor, you will have very different experiences. Vendors will be incredibly welcoming and inviting to those from law firms. Lawyers and litigation support professionals will be deathly afraid that everyone is a vendor and is out to sell them something. Regardless who you are, I encourage you all to forget who you are and why you are there and just be friendly to one another. It makes “The Show,” less of a “show” and more like a professional gathering and exchange of knowledge from thought leaders in legal technology.
Don't forget to stop by Digital Reef's booth #1404 to view a demonstration and enter to win great prizes!
Kevin L. Nichols is the Principal of KLN Consulting Group located in San Francisco, which specializes in Litigation, Diversity and Business Development/Social Media consulting.
For more information, please visit http://www.klnconsultinggroup.com.