Turning ILTACON into ILTA>ON was always going to bring with it a raft of changes, some of them unwelcome (we all wish we weren’t missing out on the regular in-person networking and events, and I sure wish I was about to experience Nashville’s music scene for the first time) and some of them unexpectedly positive.
Let’s face it, attending ILTACON during a regular year is expensive. Even large firms can only justify sending one or two people per department, which means that many are unable to experience it. And in spite of its international appeal, ILTACON takes place in the United States, which makes it truly cost (and time) prohibitive for members across the globe.
This year, though, the pandemic-enforced virtual format and discounted pricing will allow many more people to attend the conference. Sure, it’s not the same as actually physically attending, but if you’ve had a chance to review the session grid you’ll know there is an enormous amount of outstanding content to be absorbed. Many people who might not otherwise have had access to this wealth of learning will now be able to avail themselves of it – and teams can spread attendance across days and use the experience as a communal learning opportunity.
Another benefit of the remote conference is that for teams or individuals who can’t attend all five days (admittedly, it’s a commitment), there are daily attendance passes that enable a taste of the ILTA experience at a fraction of the price.
Last year, there were topic streams at ILTA that took a theme and expanded upon it over multiple sessions. I followed a few of them – the data science track, the disruption track, and the knowledge management track moderated by Joshua Fireman. These were great, but spread out over the four days of the conference. This year, ILTA has conveniently grouped all sessions for each themed track in a single day, so if you want to attend all sessions on AI, for example, you simply choose a day pass for the Thursday and you get your full, sought-after experience.
Knowledge Management Tuesday
The Knowledge Management track at ILTA>ON will run throughout Tuesday, and I’m excited about what it holds. The day opens with a design thinking session, featuring a panel of speakers (full disclosure: your author is one of them) from diverse product design and law firm backgrounds. Participants will learn about why it’s important to include user-centric design in your toolkit, and will participate in an interactive empathy exercise that will demonstrate why it’s important to consider personas when you solve problems. Take-aways will include tools you can use in your daily work and tips on how to get started using the principles of design thinking in your workplace.
Adoption is a problem for all of us who work in knowledge management and innovation. Session two in the knowledge management track, “Help me help you: Getting Attorneys to Participate” will provide advice on driving adoption across your lawyer population from professionals who have been successful in achieving it.
Next, in a session called “Create Your Own Mobile Application in 45 Minutes”, you will do exactly that. In another dynamic workshop, attendees will see some law firm apps that have been built using low or no-code solutions, and will then have the opportunity to create their own apps using one of these solutions themselves.
At every ILTACON I’ve been to, there has been a session on enterprise search. Given that there are relatively few players in this space, I’m excited to see that this year’s take is a bit of a shift. During the session entitled “Innovative Alternatives to Enterprise Search,” panelists will talk about how they’ve derived similar advantages to those provided by enterprise search by creatively leveraging other tools together. Perhaps the investment in a full enterprise search is not necessary after all – which provides a nice segue into the session that follows, “KM on a Shoestring Budget.” As the economy waivers, I’m sure many of us are wondering how we can eke the very last drop of value from the technology we already have access to. I can’t wait to see the stories and tips our panelists will provide on how to do just that.
KM day ends with a story of failure and lessons learned in “Experience Management Gone Horribly Wrong”– and who doesn’t love a failure party? By now we all know that failure gives rise to learning and insight, so I’m hopeful that by attending this session I can learn from the failure of others without having to go through this specific failure myself.
It’s a great line-up for Knowledge Management, and the convenience of having all of these sessions spread across a single day cannot be overstated.
For those who remain skeptical about the value of a virtual conference, I can assure you that as long as you come prepared to listen and absorb in the same way you do an in-person conference, you will take away nuggets of wisdom that will inspire ideas over the ensuing months. And at a cost of just $99USD for a single day attendance, I honestly don’t know why everyone in the industry wouldn’t be signing up for at least a part of ILTA>ON this year.