This year’s ILTACON is set to be the second biggest one in their history, after the 2019 conference. As usual, a number of business partners are using it as a channel to launch new, innovative solutions and services and in a return to a well populated show, some firms are sending entire departments to see them first-hand.
With all that noise in mind, here’s a simple do’s and don’t survival guide to ILTACON to make sure you get the most out of the event for your firm.
Do prepare ahead of time
Spend some time beforehand booking meetings with colleagues and vendors, a well-managed schedule is going to be your secret weapon. Decide which dinners and social events you’ll be attending ahead of time, last minute decisions might mean you miss out on something special whereas planning ahead can get you in with the best.
Look at the schedule ahead of time and decide which sessions you and your team need to attend, but don’t forget to leave some time free to just stroll the exhibit hall. You never know what you’ll come across when you give yourself permission to just look.
Do have a clear strategy
While you need a clear overall strategy, it’s vital to have multiple strategies depending on your area. As part of this map out who from your team is going to talk with which vendors, and what they need to find out. Get each team member to jot down key pieces of information so you can debrief afterwards.
Communication is key, you don’t want to give the other firms or vendors that your firm hasn’t got it together.
Trust me, you may just want to put your feet up after a full day at ILTACON, but the best thing you can do is to socialize. Some of the most insightful conversations you’ll have might just be at a party, a dinner or bar. So don’t forget your notepad! You might also meet future friends, colleagues or team members.
Do have targets for the exhibit hall
COVID made face to face meetings with vendors few and far between, but these relationships are important. If you haven’t booked a private meeting with a vendor, try to schedule some time with them in the exhibit hall, let them know when you’re likely to drop by.
It’s tricky to do but essential to find the balance between seeing vendors you know and those who are new. You may strike gold looking at unique solutions through either startups, or established business partners who are diversifying their offerings.
Don’t waste time with meetings or session you’re not interested in
There’s a difference between sessions that ‘could’ be interesting and those you ‘know’ will be. Assign the couds to someone else. The same goes for meetings with colleagues and vendors. Be tight on your time, and if it falls into the maybe category, it’s something you can consider scheduling in or researching after ILTACON.
Your time is precious at ILTACON, so don’t waste it.
Don’t over schedule
A back-to-back schedule may look doable on paper, but be realistic and give yourself time in between meetings and sessions. The last thing you want to do is to be running out of time, late for meetings, or become a no-show. Don’t damage your reputation by not respecting your own time and other people’s.
Don’t over socialize
There’s a fine line when it comes to socializing, there is a fine line between doing it and OVER doing it (you know what I mean!) ILTACON can be very fun, and some of the most important parts are undoubtedly the social pieces. But every year there are stories of the person who overdid it. You can have fun without being ‘that person’.
Don’t cheat yourself. If you do stay out late, make sure you still keep with your schedule in the morning. If you’re going to hoot with the owls, make sure you soar with the eagles!
Don’t rely on your memory
This one speaks for itself, notes are your friend and you need them for when you get back to debrief your team effectively. Do future you a favor and write down key names and information.
This article was written for and first published by The Legal Technologist.