January 28 by Patrick Wolf
With LegalTech 2016 in New York beginning in a few days, now is an important time to start planning how to maximize your time. For those who don’t know, the LegalTech conference is one of the most important, and biggest, legal technology events of the year. With two trade shows every year in New York and San Francisco, the conference brings together over 100 exhibitors from around the globe who offer new solutions and the latest technology in the management of the legal profession. It is a great event to gain hands on practical information and foster personal connections to meet present and future technological management needs. The New York Conference this year is on February 2-4, and is being held at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Whenever it comes to conferences like these, it’s important to get the most of your experience and to ensure that you gain the most value out of your trip. Below are tips that you should use to take advantage of everything there is to offer at LegalTech New York 2016.
Going to LegalTech New York 2016? Enter to win hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards and more!
Here’s How to Maximize Your Trip for LegalTech New York 2016:
Cement Your Goals
What are you trying to get out of the conference? It is important that you have your goals of the conference in mind as you explore what the New York Hilton Midtown has to offer. This will help keep you focused throughout the weekend, as there are hundreds of things that can draw ones eye off course. Set these goals before you arrive, as well as prioritize them- you probably won’t be able to accomplish all of the goals that you have in mind.
Do Your Homework
Research the vendors that you are most interested in talking to. The conference will become a huge waste of time if you can’t have the necessary conversations concerning products and services that are most important to your company. Learn which vendors your company already does business, what they think of these vendors’ performance, and how they can be improved upon. The conference provides a great atmosphere to engage in meaningful conversations with representatives about their products, and how they have improved.
Create a Vendor Plan
There are well over 100 vendors that are going to be attending this conference, and as a result it is important to have a plan of which vendors you want to see. You do not want to be in the middle of the floor surrounded by hundreds of people with no clue of your direction. You will get lost in no time. Distinguish which best fulfill your needs and focus your time on them, making sure you have ample time to learn enough about their solutions.
Know the Locations
This ties in with the need for preparation. It is necessary to have a solid understanding of the locations of everything you want to attend before you become immersed into the conference. This will prevent time being wasted looking for certain vendors and allow you to take full advantage of what Legaltech has to offer.
Create a Back-up Plan
It is important to always have back up plans when attending conferences. There may be instances when a session is completely different than what you were expecting, or a late room and time change occurs for a particular session. If any of these situations happen, it is important to have a back-up plan that you can go to. Don’t sit through a session that won’t provide you any value.
Use a Tag Team Approach if Possible
If you happen to be going with a group of co-workers, it is best to use a divide and conquer strategy to attack the conference. This will allow your team to get the most out of your time spent. Create a strategy for each team member and assign specific tracks to certain individuals. This way, you can get together at the end of the day and share notes, debrief one another of the session content, and so on.
Try to Go To All Keynote Presentations
This year’s keynote presentations promise to be very interesting. They include a panel of United States Judges talking about the effect of technology in the modern courtroom and Eric O’Neill, who formerly served in the FBI as a counterterrorism and counterintelligence agent. The keynote presentations are a great way to start the day, but also provide excellent content and will always leave you with food for thought.
Schedule Product Demos
Schedule product demos in advance when possible given the amount of time required. This will allow you to better plan your time at the conference.
Network With Other Attendees
Legaltech is not only a great forum for learning about exciting new technologies and innovative companies, it is also a great networking opportunity. Take the time to connect with other attendees from across the country. Meet up and talk about common challenges that you are facing. Different people have difference takes on common problems. See if their solutions resonate better with what your company is trying to achieve. What tools and best practices do they use? If anything, its good to just meet some new and interesting people from around the country.
Take Notes. A Lot of Notes.
Unless you have a perfect memory and can recite back everything that is said in presentations, it is important that you take notes. You will need to know the key takeaways from conference in the future. There is so much information throughout the three days that a lot of it will go in one ear and out the other, so be proactive and jot down the important information.
The days at these conferences are long and not the most comfortable to sit through. Dress comfortably. Wear comfortable shoes that you can stand for long periods of time in.
Get Enough Sleep
These three days are mentally and physically tiring. Make sure that you come into each day well rested. What’s the point of making your way all to the way to New York if you are just going to sleep through the sessions?
Have a Post Event Game Plan
Follow up with the contacts that you made at the conference. Use the business cards that you collected and add new contacts to LinkedIn. You never know when you might need to reach out to them in the future and you will probably be seeing the same people at future events. Conferences are a great way to create and strengthen professional networks over time.
Share Your Highlights With Your Team
You are not at the conference just to be there, you are there to bring back important information to your company. Take back important tips to coworkers that were unable to attend. Compile your findings into a presentation for your team or review your key takeaways during a meeting. It’s important to share the knowledge you’ve gained!
By incorporating these 14 tips while at the LegalTech New York 2016 conference, you will maximize your experience and get the most ROI out of your trip.