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    A First-Time Visitor’s Checklist for ABA Techshow


      It’s that time of year again…winter becomes spring, buds begin to pop out on trees, birds start mating, and legal technology people and lawyers head to Chicago for ABA Techshow.

      I will be too – you can see me prepping by getting my haircut here:

      2011 marks the 25th anniversary of this seminal legal tech event, which starts on Monday of next week. Personally, this will be my fourth one. It’s informative. It’s fun. You make great and lasting relationships.

      Like any event you’re investing time and money in, you gotta know how to get the most out of your experience. So these are my insider tips and suggestions to make your time at the Chicago Hilton worthwhile.

      1) Take a look at the schedule in advance and know which sessions you’re going to attend for each hour. Also think about what your backup might be in case your session isn’t quite what you expect. Sit in the aisles or back to bolt out as unobtrusively as possible.

      2) Sign up at the information desk at your earliest convenience to go out to dinner with Techshow speakers. This event is called “Taste of ABA TECHSHOW.” It appears this year dinners will be held on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and this is where you can make great relationships.

      3) If you can’t go to all the sessions and start to get weary, get outside and get some fresh air. The entire conference is in the lower level of the Hilton, and you’re going to need to be refreshed.

      4) Attend the keynotes and plenary sessions. Not only have the speakers been excellent in past years (Ari Kaplan, Richard Susskind), you’ll be able to network with people easily by discussing the content of their talks. Works just as good as a drink to meet people and dive into conversation.

      5) Pay attention on Twitter to the #ABATECHSHOW hashtag. It’s a great way to find out where your friends are. Very few people last year were on Foursquare, so it’s better to keep abreast via Twitter.

      6) Take measures to avoid getting sick. Shake with the right hand, touch your face with your left. It’s easy to get a nasty head cold between all the people you come into contact with, airplane travel, and dry Hilton air. So wash your hands frequently and employ take Purel and Vitamin C.

      7) Party. These people like to have fun. The first year I was there I stayed out until 3am. But I can’t do that anymore and call it a night at 11pm. See #6 above – not sleeping and consuming high doses of alcohol affect your ability to maintain good health. But be prepared to really have a good time.

      8 ) Check out the incredible video put out by the ABA Techshow peeps. When you see them at the show, go up and introduce yourself and what a great job they’ve been doing.

      If you’d like a free ABA Techshow expo pass, ‘like’ our Facebook page and you’ll get an update with a link on Saturday afternoon. And when you’re there, visit Rocket Matter at booth 414 for information on our legal productivity software and high-quality, game-changing videos.

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