Here's my main takeaway from this year's TechShow: if you're a lawyer who appreciates learning about new technology tips and tricks from a professional standpoint (as well as a personal one), then you owe it to yourself to attend a TechShow. It's always held in Chicago at the end of March. So start planning for next year!
Why should you attend?
Well let's start with the fact that the speakers at TechShow are all first-class presenters. With deference to the usual CLE speakers that we all encounter, this conference is in a whole other class. People only get invited to speak at TechShow if they're really good at presenting (which makes me wonder how I snuck past the QC controls). And the presenters know their topics in depth.
The programs are probably all fantastic, but I obviously didn't attend them all. I attended only the sessions in the “Paperless track” and the “Mac user track.” I did this so that I could concentrate on learning a lot in a few areas. There are lots of areas to choose from. If you want to learn about electronic discovery there are several sessions, and same with mobile computing. In short, you can learn so much in 2 and half days that, if you're not careful, your head might explode.
Besides the sessions, the hallway encounters wind up being incredibly valuable as well. The people you meet at TechShow will wind up being folks that you'll stay in touch with and bounce ideas off of in the future. Seriously, if you care about technology at all (and you know who you are) then you must go to TechShow. If you go, you'll kick yourself for not figuring this out sooner.
I'll try to write up some of the key tips I came away with, but I'm still digesting a lot of it. For now, here's one thing I learned in a hallway meeting: a lot of folks are using Doodle.com as their go-to site for scheduling meetings where there are lots of people. TechShow is great for finding out which, among a variety of similar services or products, is the one that most knowledgeable techies prefer.
So, there's your first tip: Doodle.com. Check it out.