The Must-Have Guide to Attending the ABA TECHSHOW Conference

The largest legal tech conference of the year, the ABA TECHSHOW brings together thousands of legal professionals and technology solution providers from around the world. With a stage as diversified – and stakes as high – as that of Chicago’s number-one legal event, making the most of those few days can be an overwhelming feat, to say the least. One misguided decision can make all the difference between a stimulating, exciting conference, and a glorified snoozefest – these tips are tailored to assist the knowledge-hungry legal professional in making the most of their precious time at the ABA TECHSHOW.

Have Your Logistics Sorted Out Before the ABA TECHSHOW

We know better than anyone what an incredible networking opportunity ABA TECHSHOW is for attorneys and vendors alike. For this reason, we’ll risk being subjected to eye-rolls from the most seasoned conference attendees in order to dole out this fundamental tip: logistical networking items, like business cards, are absolute must-haves at an event like this. Though it seems borderline insulting to imply that an attorney might go to any professional event without his or her business card deck, the hecticness of day-of scramblings can easily lead to forgotten essentials. We’ve seen it happen enough times to stress the importance of creating – and referring to – a pre-travel checklist prior to heading to the airport. Your growing ABA TECHSHOW-sourced network will thank you for it (most likely in LinkedIn connections).

Plan Ahead

You’d think a conference would be a refreshing time to let loose a bit, seeing where the winds of the Hyatt Regency’s basements take you with little care for deadlines, KPIs, or any of the other stressful components of daily firm life. Though you are more than welcome to meander about TECHSHOW, making last-minute choices about which panels and events to attend, there’s no denying that there are better ways to plan for a successful time at the event. Perhaps the most effective one is to peruse the schedule so graciously provided by the organizers of TECHSHOW. Though it adds a little more tedium to the pre-conference excitement, planning ahead about which events to attend during the conference will reduce the risk of wasted time.

Know What You Need for the ABA TECHSHOW

Interactions with vendors at conferences can often range from impressive to downright irritating. There’s one exceptionally easy way to ensure that your one-on-one connections with vendors be productive, pleasant, and legitimately interesting: know what you and your firm need. The ABA TECHSHOW is a hub of innovation in legal tech, and the vendors there aren’t just salespeople – they’re pioneers of the future of the industry. Sure- any interaction can get infuriating if it’s unproductive and irrelevant to the particular needs of your firm. On the other hand, the opportunity to chat one-on-one with the people responsible for creating some of the most valuable automation solutions in your firm’s arsenal has the potential to be incredibly fulfilling – for both parties. Determine whether your firm would benefit from billing, time tracking, client intake, or general practice automation solutions – then be sure to seek out the appropriate vendors, asking specific questions about the needs of your firm. Not only is it a fantastic way to compare products, but it’s also a definitive measure to take in determining which solutions have the most knowledgeable people in their corner.

Final Thoughts

The ABA TECHSHOW is an opportunity for thought leaders in legal technology to connect with thought leaders in the legal field. In an atmosphere of this scope and caliber, there’s no telling what meaningful conversations and connections stand to occur. In order to make the most of a few days that always turn out to feel too short, enter the conference with a plan. Know what you need from the ABA TECHSHOW – if there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years attending, it’s that it always delivers.

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