How to get the most out of eDiscovery Providers at LegalTech NY
LegalTechNew York, by far, is the most highly anticipated legal technology conference in the world. Although the industry is broad and it makes a valiant attempt to cover various practice areas, it is predominately driven by eDiscovery solutions providers. For example, when you look at the marquee sponsors or the workshop presenters, you will notice that the majority of them have eDiscovery products or services. If you work in a law firm or are a corporate law department and already utilize these services, then LegalTech will provide you numerous additional opportunities to learn more about your practice’s needs. For those of you whose eDiscovery knowledge is limited, LegalTech is the perfect place to expand your knowledge of the industry. Here are some tips of how to get the most of the vendor booths in the Exhibitor Hall and the workshops in order to take full advantage of this unique opportunity:
- Be Prepared – It does not hurt to do a little homework before you arrive. Research your organizations’ current service providers to see who they are. Ask your litigation support professionals, IT, or litigation paralegals what their thoughts are of their products and services, and ask them if they are looking at or considering additional providers so that you make sure you visit with them at “The Show.” If your organization does not have any eDiscovery matters, examine your clients and your current case load and ask yourself, do either of them have electronically stored information (ESI) that might be relevant to win your case? If so, you should find out how a vendor can help you achieve this goal.
- Have a general idea of what your needs are and make the vendor sell you on them – The Exhibitor Hall can be an energetic environment full of sales executives looking to educate their potential customers about their products and services. The best thing to do after the preparation stage, is to know what questions to ask and why. If you are familiar with eDiscovery services already, then you can make more headway by inquiring what new releases and enhancements of various products will do for you, and/or evaluate foreign solutions to see if their service offerings are better or worse than what you currently have. Make the vendors earn their keep by selling you their service offerings. Have them demo their products and services for you and ask for literature and business cards of the individuals that you meet in the event you need to follow up with them.
- LegalTech Brings Star Power – Rarely, will there be an opportunity to meet face to face with the president and/or CEO, of a multi-million dollar company by merely stopping by their company’s booth. Or meeting the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) who created the processing, hosting, or collection solution that your firm or organization uses. Thus, it is imperative that you have a well thought out plan of what you want to learn when you stop by a booth. You can find out a wealth of information about your current tools as well as learn the ins and outs of new tools that you had no idea even existed. Cease the moment.
- Meet the Presenters – After a workshop that is sponsored by an eDiscovery provider, hang around once the presentation is over and meet the executives afterwards. If you have experience with their tool, let them know what that is, good or bad. Tell them some issues or problems you may have encountered either with their tool or with other solutions and ask them how their products and services deal with that particular issue. Moreover, you can also rant a rave if you are a satisfied customer of theirs as well. The wealth of information and the ability to have a captive audience hear your thoughts and vice cersa is chance of a lifetime.
In summary, eDiscovery providers want to meet you, whether you are an expert or novice. They want to understand your practice and they want you to learn about their products and services. Hopefully, the two will coincide and mesh together. While you are at LegalTechNY, take advantage of the unique opportunities to demo products, ask detailed questions, and learn what is on the horizon for that company and ultimately the industry. Ask questions, such as “Where do you think the industry is heading?” And review your clients’ needs to see if these vendors will be a contender to meet them in the future. Above all, have fun and stop by as many booths as you can.
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.