- ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center board members answer questions about the upcoming TECHSHOW event in Chicago.
This month, we asked our panel to review TECHSHOW 2022.
RT: Yes, this was my 20th TECHSHOW in person.
RT: I attended live but have also viewed several virtual sessions that are available to attendees before and after the live event. I chose in-person because I wanted to meet with exhibitors, attend Start-Up Alley, and also network with colleagues and friends I had not seen for two years or more. It was perfectly safe and I felt very comfortable even without a mask mandate that ended in Chicago the day before TECHSHOW started.
JB: I chose to attend in person this year and so I participated in both the live event and have watched some of the virtual sessions. It was time to see people face to face and due to the ABA requirements regarding vaccination, I felt safe.
RT: I enjoyed the “Transform” track the most. The track-focused on innovations and strategies to deliver legal services in new and different ways. I also spent a surprising amount of time in the Expo talking to various companies about their products and services. Like lawyers, many products and services providers had to adapt to more virtual services during the pandemic so it was interesting to see and hear about these improvements.
JB: I always enjoy sessions that discuss changes in the legal environment and Access to Justice issues and so the Transform track was one that I particularly enjoyed. As always, the Start-Up Pitch Competition was fun to watch, and discussing issues with the vendors face to face was energizing. I was just so happy to talk with people face to face that any interaction seemed precious this year.
RT: I was only able to attend Start-Up Alley and the reception that followed. I’ve been blessed to meet many wonderful lawyers at TECHSHOW over many years, and it was good to re-connect with many of them.
JB: I attended many of the social events that took place this year. I really do not have a comparison to the other events because this was the first time in two years that I went to a social event in person. If I had to compare it to the online social events over the last couple of years, well, online social events really are not fun. There is a significant difference in seeing a person up close versus a person on Zoom when you are socially engaging. For business matters, video conferencing is fine, but it does not translate well in social gatherings.
RT: Come for the classroom sessions but know that the exhibit hall and the hallways are great places to learn too. So pick and choose between educational sessions while leaving plenty of time for other activities.
AK: Plan, plan, plan! You will not be able to attend everything you want, so plan out what tracks you want to attend. All tracks are recorded and provided to those who register, so do not fret if you are unable to attend a session. Also, review the list of vendors in the exhibit hall prior to attending. If you wish to learn more about a product, visit them early and set up a time to speak with them. You may have a fixed plan in mind on how to negotiate the exhibit hall, but your plans may change so it is important to have some times set to visit vendors whose products interest you.
JB: TECHSHOW attendees should plan ahead before attending the conference. You can get overwhelmed with all the different tracks and sessions so decide what you want to accomplish prior to attending.
RT: TECHSHOW has always been about lawyers using technology, being taught by the best presenters, having the best exhibitors, and facilitating social interactions between lawyers to promote sharing and learning. If conference planners keep those keys to success in mind, TECHSHOW will be successful for another 40 years.
AK: I believe that there should always be a "Tech Track for Novices" at every TECHSHOW as that will drive registration for those who want to learn about how to utilize existing and emerging technologies. I am a big fan of "un-conferences" so I would like to see more attendee-driven discussions. This would also likely help future TECHSHOW tracks.
JB: It seemed to me that there needed to be more nuts-and-bolts technology sessions in 2022. For instance, the Launch track had many of the same ideas for the sessions. I would like to see more diverse topics on starting a law practice using technology.