By Sherry Kappel, Evangelist, Litera
Part of series of articles from Litera leaders on themes related to this year's ILTACON event.
I'm an ILTACON veteran – the first conference I attended wasn't even called ILTACON; it was called LawNet. Our hot topic that year was making the (seismic!) shift from DOS WordPerfect into Microsoft Windows and Word, while teaching our users how to incorporate use of a mouse. We've come so far since then!
I recently sat down with Ari Kaplan of Ari Kaplan Advisors, and in our wide-ranging podcast, Ari asked me to provide some tips for listeners attending ILTACON 2022. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Everything will feel new. The 2022 meeting will be a wonderful blank slate. We as a community get the chance to begin again. The pandemic years in which we weren't physically together weren't all negative. For one thing, we've spent these intervening months learning how to use our digital collaboration tools better. These are now second nature to our users. This year everything from the sessions list, the conference sponsors, the Startup Hub in the exhibit hall – all showcase exciting new trends. Everything is new again!
- Get there early on Sunday if you can. At 4:30 PM, a series of "Collaboration Kickoffs" is scheduled. These are open discussions about topics such as Data Science and AI; Small firm issues; Core Tech, Security and Information Governance; KM, Innovation, and Business Development. These are great opportunities to meet new people, gain new perspectives and get conversations started that will last the week.
- Never skip a keynote! I always look forward to these. This year, business futurist Patrick Schwerdtfeger, author of Pandemic Incorporated, delivers our keynotes on Monday and Tuesday: first on thinking more expansively about modern technology, then a second talk on Big Data and AI. Wednesday's keynote topic is still under wraps, but our speaker has been announced: Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, of the Supreme Court of New York – her talk should be fascinating! Then, on Thursday, the keynote delivers a wrap-up from the invitation-only G100 and G200 sessions for CIOs. Gina Buser will moderate this conversation with Britton Choi, John Kuttler, Jay Nogle, and Tony McKenna.
- My hot topics tips. I recommend scanning the agenda for topics that stand out, feed your curiosity or align with your future initiatives and aims. For instance, change management is a perennial topic, with many practical sessions and sage speakers sharing their insights this year. I mentioned the Startup Hub earlier (obviously a must-visit in the Exhibit Hall!). Well, there's a complimentary session on Monday called "Take a Chance on Me," where speakers share tips for vetting new technology and working with startups. Yet another well-represented topic and top of mind for many is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The "Data Matters" session focuses on using technology to drive successful DEI initiatives. Then there are the sessions which articulate various aspects of pivoting your organization from the pandemic and perpetual topics like collaboration and AI/Machine Learning. Another one I wouldn't miss is the Thursday session on selecting a third-party Information Governance solution. If there is one thing the pandemic accomplished, it's putting a spotlight on governance in an era of remote collaboration. One last recommendation: ILTACON is THE opportunity to attend a few sessions on topics entirely new to you. New perspectives are enriching!
- Meet the Business Partners. I know our Litera team is eager to talk about our latest upgrades, products that have come into our fold, and our integration plans. We'll have our technical experts and product specialists on hand to answer any questions you might have. I also know all our fellow business partners feel the same way and are bringing their best talent to the conference. We'll have our technical experts and product specialists on hand to answer any questions you might have. This is the one event where great ideas are generated, big questions are answered, and relationships are formed. Don't miss the opportunity to engage with your technology partners!
- Buddy up on sessions. If you are at ILTACON with a team, you might be tempted to split up sessions to "divide and conquer" and get maximum coverage of the conference floor. Sometimes – especially on the big, strategic topics – you're better off attending with a colleague or two, then compare notes in conversations afterward. There are so many new and expanded insights you can gain this way.
- Scope out the exhibit hall in advance. You'll want to know which business partners you plan to talk to, whether they are established relationships or new ones. Be sure to have a priority list, know where they are, and get there to set up demos or additional conversations.
- Mind the practical stuff. This might not be a popular approach, but I've learned it's important to curtail the late nights and endless alcohol consumption. Pace yourself, get good nights' sleep so you can make it to Thursday without exhausting yourself. Then, have a great time at the closing party! Another tip is to bring multiple pairs of shoes, changing them out through the week. Wearing the same pair all week as you put on marathon-like walking and standing mileage will irritate the same pressure points on your feet. You will be miserable! Also: bring a sweater or jacket – session rooms are freezing! Lastly, drinking lots of water always helps when you're cooped up in a climate-controlled environment for several days.
- Practice good time management. Prioritize key session topics and the key business partners you want to visit. Then fill in the rest of your time around those key mileposts, including time for some spontaneous meetings in the hallways. These are the things you can only experience in real time. Since most sessions are recorded, you can always catch up on the ones you missed, afterward.
- Coffee matters and this one is on us. This one is Litera-specific. Know that we'll be in booth 301 and have a barista there the entire time the hall is open. So now you know where to meet us and get caffeinated at the same time!
Posted in ILTACON