Over the past weeks, my email inbox has been inundated with advertisements for products, invitations to events and parties and general exhortations to visit this booth and that at Legal Tech 2014.
The event is taking place this week in New York. Billed as the premier legal technology show on Earth, the gathering takes place at the Hilton Hotel on 6th Avenue when people from all round the world converge on the city (and the hotel lobby) in a bewildering cacophony of self promotion and, yes, to be honest, a touch of hubris.
That said, it has in the past proved to be a hugely enjoyable occasion because those who attend share many common interests and it is an opportunity to see face to face some of the people who work in the legal technology industry who are gathered together in one place for most or all of the week.
As a Legal Tech virgin a few years ago, I was impressed by the range of people attending and by some (if not all) of the sessions. Without doubt, it is one of those events which draws together the good and the great in the industry and which includes some of the judges and practitioners who operate regularly at the forefront of the development and application of the technology with which the rest of the world is becoming familiar.
BUT this year, for the first time for a number of years, no one from Millnet will be there!
It was interesting to note when I first attended how few lawyers actually attend and specifically how few lawyers from the UK. None, if I remember rightly!
Last year, the same could have been said about the litigation support community from London. Usually, these guys and their firms are well represented but last year, there was a distinct dearth of attendance from that community. In fact, if memory serves me right, there was no one from the big UK law firms and no one on the various speaking panels either.
After some discussion, we concluded that, having attended Legal Tech in 3 of the past 4 years, with a minimum of three participants on each occasion, it is an event that yields a poor return on our investment. This does not mean we will not attend again in the future but does mean that we intend to plan our attendance at events and seminars for the rest of 2014 in a more considered way that reflects personal development priorities for staff as well as focusing on activities that yield measurable results.
In the meantime, I wish all our friends and contacts who are at LTNY a very happy and enjoyable conference and all of us at Millnet look forward to seeing you, talking to you and working with you in one way or another in the coming months.
As Catullus might have said, we salute you…..(but for the time being, LTNY) goodbye!