In a nutshell, ILTACON, the world's largest legaltech conference, marked its 43rd edition at Disneyworld Orlando. Organized by the International Legal Tech Association (ILTA), this event saw over 3,400 attendees, half of whom were ILTA members. Spread across different hotels, ILTACON featured parallel sessions catering to diverse backgrounds, two expansive exhibition halls spanning over 400,000 square feet, making it an undeniably massive affair.
Despite its primarily American audience, ILTACON attracted international visitors who could quickly identify one another through special badges and dedicated networking sessions. These badges, allowing attendees to label themselves as newcomers, international participants, speakers, trainers, and more, proved to be clever conversation starters. In addition, each badge was equipped with an electronic transmitter, enabling participants to connect via the ILTACON app and foster networking opportunities.
A Week at ILTACON
ILTACON's program spanned from Sunday afternoon to Thursday evening, offering many activities. The official launch commenced on Sunday evening with an opening reception, followed by the start of official sessions on Monday morning, with each day commencing with a keynote session at the Yacht and Beachclub. The sessions delved into technical topics, market trends, and law firm management, though some attendees found it challenging to discern which sessions suited their needs from the app's program.
Transportation between venues was made easy with golf carts shuttling participants due to the uncomfortable combination of high humidity and long distances. The exhibition hall opened on Monday evening with a Tailgate party theme, resulting in a sports-inspired atmosphere, complete with thematic outfits and American football-themed gadgets. The exhibition hall spanned two vast halls connected by an intermediate area, where vendors offered private demos and knowledge sessions.
The intermediate area hosted a stand-up comedy program each afternoon to keep the exhibition floors lively. Vendors reported satisfaction with the event, as it attracted serious visitors who generated substantial leads.
ILTACON featured three evenings of events. On Tuesday and Wednesday, vendors invited their partners, customers, and prospects to various meetings, with the iManage party being a standout.
The conference featured a diverse array of sessions. On Monday, attendees enjoyed a keynote by Sara Ross, followed by sessions on project management tools and Microsoft Teams. The key takeaway was the unstoppable rise of Teams in the US, with discussions about governance policies and functionality.
Tuesday's keynote took a different turn with a mesmerizing show by "mentalist" Ken Salaz. The day continued with a presentation of the ILTACON tech survey 2023, covering emerging technologies, AI, cloud adoption, and Generative AI. Start-up presentations highlighted the growth of Legal project management.
Wednesday kicked off with a keynote by Dr. Rob Archer, touching on the concept of "good stress" versus "bad stress." Sessions throughout the day covered topics such as document automation, ESG applications, case management in litigation, fundamentals of AI, and change management. The exhibition floor also saw a rush for iManage access bands.
Thursday marked the closing day, featuring a keynote session summarizing discussions among representatives from G100 and G200 firms throughout the week. Topics ranged from the state of the legal market to Generative AI, change management, information governance, security, cloud adoption, and virtual meeting platforms.
While the world's legal tech landscape may not differ significantly from ILTACON, the event remains valuable, especially for larger firms in the Netherlands. It offers insights into global developments and glimpses of emerging startups that could become industry leaders. As ILTACON continues to evolve, it remains a pivotal event for legal technology professionals, and attendees eagerly anticipate future iterations, with the next one set for August 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.
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