First, register early! By registering early, you’ll be able to take advantage of the lowest Conference rates and have full access to the educational materials. You’ll also receive periodic updates that will help you organize and plan for your trip to Chicago.
Planning for ABA TECHSHOW
Once you’ve registered, spend some time looking over the Conference Schedule – our dynamic list of educational tracks, sessions, and speakers. The ABA TECHSHOW Board has organized the schedule into multiple tracks, or general topic areas. There are also vendor tracks, meet-the-author opportunities, lunch ‘n learn sessions, and the ABA TECHSHOW Keynote Speaker!
Within each educational track, you’ll find multiple sessions. Read the descriptions carefully, and make a plan of how you’re going to spend your time:
- Join the ABA Law Practice Division (LP) to get a great discount on your ABA TECHSHOW registration. ABA members join for only $50/year, which is well worth the discount you receive on registration!
- Download the ABA TECHSHOW Conference App. The Conference App is your portal to ABA TECHSHOW and will help you plan your time wisely.
- Book a room at the Hilton Chicago by the deadline. The Hilton Chicago has hosted every U.S. President since Eisenhower. Be sure to ask for the special ABA TECHSHOW rate.
- Bring your business cards! You’ll want to hand them out not only to the new friends you’ll be meeting, but to the speakers and vendors you’d like to follow-up with.
- Sign up for a Taste of ABA TECHSHOW dinner. These dutch-treat dinners are hosted by a Faculty or Board member at a fabulous local Chicago restaurant. Sign up early!
- Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Dress comfortably, and professionally. Bring comfortable, sensible shoes, as well as a business casual attire for evening receptions and events.
- Read the ABA TECHSHOW blog. The Board and Faculty put together blog posts to help you stay up to date on new developments, events, and can’t-miss sessions.
Selecting your ABA TECHSHOW Sessions
The ABA TECHSHOW Board is putting together dozens of educational sessions providing attendees with practical, useful information and CLE credit. One of the challenges you’ll face in planning your experience is selecting which sessions to attend, so give special attention to pre-planning your sessions.
- Keep an open mind. Have more than one session in mind for each time slot. You can narrow your decisions down based on the #ABATECHSHOW Twitter feed as the Conference gets closer.
- Sessions are labeled “Introductory,” “Intermediate,” and “Advanced.” Keep this in mind while you’re planning out your sessions, but don’t be afraid to stretch yourself either!
- Use the ABA TECHSHOW Conference App. Mark the sessions you want to attend as your “favorites”. They’ll appear in the “Your Schedule View” or the “Your Favorites” section of the Conference App for easy reference.
- Educational materials, written by the Faculty, will be available prior to ABA TECHSHOW via our Conference App and through the ABA TECHSHOW website. Look at these materials prior to ABA TECHSHOW.
- Plan some time to visit the EXPO Hall. Over 100 vendors exhibit their latest and greatest innovations and products. Many attendees have said that they learn just as much from the EXPO Hall as they do from the educational sessions!
Arrival at ABA TECHSHOW
Arrive early to ABA TECHSHOW so you can take advantage of the great social events, including the Welcome Reception the night before. Early arrival will allow you to settle in and figure out the layout of the Chicago Hilton before things become too exciting!
- Check-in at the registration booth when you arrive. There you’ll receive the attendee bag filled with everything you need for the Conference and EXPO.
- Find the ABA TECHSHOW Board members and introduce yourself; they’ll have additional free drink tickets to hand out!
- Attend the Welcome Reception for appetizers, drinks, and some early networking with other ABA TECHSHOW attendees and Faculty.
- Walk around the Chicago Hilton to get a sense of where the events you’re planning on attending will be.
During ABA TECHSHOW
One of the biggest regrets that first-time attendees have is that they missed out on something because they didn’t know about it. To make extra sure that you’re squeezing every drop you can out of your ABA TECHSHOW experience, consider the following:
- Visit the ABA TECHSHOW concierge desk. We’ve staffed the concierge desk with veterans, Faculty members, and Board members who can help you plan your ABA TECHSHOW experience.
- ABA TECHSHOW offers many hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. If your state requires CLE credits, sign up on the CLE sign-in sheet, conveniently available outside of each session. If your state is self-reporting, make sure to obtain the documentation provided.
- Sit up front at the educational sessions. Not only will you have access to power strips for your devices (available only in the first four rows!), but you’ll be part of the discussion instead of just being a spectator.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions! If you’re wondering about something, chances are good that many others in the audience are wondering the same thing.
- Attend the Vendor Reception on Thursday night in the EXPO Hall. Enjoy tasty treats, free drinks, and a chance to network with your fellow attendees and vendors.
- Complete the general evaluation and your attended session evaluations! They help us to improve the Conference each year and plan for ABA TECHSHOW 2016.
Networking at ABA TECHSHOW
One of the great benefits of attending ABA TECHSHOW is that you not only get to meet and interact with other attorneys, but with true experts. Bloggers, authors, and national-caliber speakers are invited to ABA TECHSHOW to share their knowledge. They get as much from meeting you as you’ll get from meeting them!
- Follow the #ABATECHSHOW Twitter feed! Pros and groupies regularly tweet new information and exciting details about the Conference. You’ll find the discussions, pointers, tips, and links to be very helpful.
- Sign up early for a Taste of ABA TECHSHOW dinner. These are intimate dinners hosted by a member of the Board or Faculty. The Taste of ABA TECHSHOW dinners are an excellent way to get to know your fellow attendees, learn some fascinating things, and meet legal tech celebrities!
- You’re attending a conference with thousands of other legal professionals who share similar interests and passions. Use this as an opportunity to meet new friends. ABA TECHSHOW attendees are known for their friendliness and willingness to try new things and meet new people.
- Be sure to visit the LP Booth in the EXPO Hall to meet some authors, Division veterans, and buy some of LP’s latest technology publications. Attendees and LP members get discounts!
After ABA TECHSHOW
Post-Conference planning is just as important as pre-Conference planning! You’ll leave ABA TECHSHOW overwhelmed by the amazing number of new tips, tricks, programs, processes, and resources that you’ve uncovered.
- Go over your ABA TECHSHOW Cheat Sheet. You should have a straightforward list of the best of the best stuff from ABA TECHSHOW. Put these tips, tricks, sites, products, and services in order from most important on down.
- Make a plan to integrate each one of these things at a time into your workflow. If you try to integrate everything you learned at ABA TECHSHOW into your practice all at once, you’ll become overwhelmed.
- By taking it slowly, you’ll learn how to work each piece of your new knowledge into your workflow. Once you’ve mastered one, move on to the next, and the next, and the next, until it’s time for the next ABA TECHSHOW!
- Keep an eye out for post-Conference materials. PowerPoint slides are collected from the faculty and are made available to all attendees after the Conference on the ABA TECHSHOW Website or via the ABA TECHSHOW Conference App.