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ILTACON 2017 – and the ship sails on

Wednesday, September 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: ACEDS Marketing Team
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Extract from Chris Dale's article "ILTACON 2017 – and the ship sails on" featuring a special shout-out to ACEDS! 

The social side

The I in ILTA stands for International – it may be US-led, but ILTA’s ambition is to bring together those with the same problems and solutions from every part of the world. eDiscovery certification provider ACEDS has the same ambition. Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad of ACEDS took us out for an extremely good dinner along with Bernard Jarroush of Australian eDiscovery provider Law in Order and Craig Ball. There was talk of spreading the ACEDS gospel to Australia and Singapore and, having moderated two of ACEDS London events, I could not but be interested in this.

ACEDS chapters form organically where there is interest and local champions. If you are in Australia and Singapore and might be interested in participating in the launch of an ACEDS chapter there, please send an email to and they will get in touch.

David Horrigan and Shawn Gaines of Relativity took us out for a fine dinner. It is occasions like this where I find out about the companies I write about. There was nothing inquisitorial about it from my end and I learned nothing confidential – not a whisper about the rebranding from kCura to Relativity due to take place a few days later for example – but I come away feeling that I have a better understanding of the business than I had before. To revert to an earlier point, those who shut themselves away in lofty meeting rooms miss this kind of exchange (I don’t just mean with me but with the market generally).

Where to next?

I assume that ILTA’s new management has a plan beyond the unceremonious removal of so much of its hands-on management. The wonderful TJ Johnson is promoted to VP Events and Conferences which means that there is at least one person at a senior level who  is known and liked by ILTACON’s long-standing delegates and who knows how the thing works. Next year takes ILTACON back to the Gaylord Convention Center outside Washington, not the worst of the big US venues and one which has hosted past ILTACONs.

ILTACON fills a big place in the legal technology calendar, both in terms of sheer size and variety and in the hearts of its regular visitors – if that sounds silly for a major business (pace Greg Bufithis’s reference to a “cottage industry”) Facebook had grown men and women counting the number of “sleeps till ILTACON” which indicates the affection in which it is held.

Does that “affection” matter? Should we be more hard-nosed about one of the two major events in the legal technology calendar? (The other is of course Legaltech, which is as hard-nosed as it comes, its setting in New York in winter almost symbolic of its hardness).

ILTACON attracts more affection than any other legal technology event – that does not mean that people don’t appreciate the others, but ILTACON’s appeal is of a different and more personal kind. It is a characteristic of all these events (ILTA less than most) that people like to moan afterwards, but few of those who complain about them (Greg Bufithis is an exception) have constructive suggestions to make, or try to reconcile the business imperatives of the organiser with the needs of those who fund it, those who speak at it and those who just attend year after year.

I’ll put my hand up and say I love it, even if this year’s bloodbath left a nasty taste. The pattern was set by the old team, and TJ Johnson and the large team of volunteers kept the ship on course for this year. We will have to wait and see if the new management has anything positive to bring; attendance at a course in human relations and communication might be beneficial. As Greg Bufithis says, the “people factor” matters at multiple levels at a show like this.

ILTA Insight in London

I must mention ILTA INSIGHT, the one-day event hosted by ILTA in London, this year on 16 November. It is always stimulating, always interesting, and like its big sister in the US, focuses on education and on sharing ideas.

Read the full article here

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