The 90’s TECHSHOWs – Phil Shuey Reflects on His Years as Co-Chair in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995 & 1997

We’re on a TECHSHOW countdown and with 25 days to go, we’re hopping in the WayBack Machine to hear from past chairs and take a look at What Was at TECHSHOW!

What were you doing (real life job) when you were the ABA Tech show chair in YEAR? Are you still doing that same thing? If not tell us a little bit about your journey.    

I was Chair or Co-Chair in 1990 – 1992, 1995, 1997. During all of those years, I maintained a bifurcated professional practice divided between the general practice of law and consulting in areas of technology, strategic planning and futurist matters. And, I am still doing the same things, though the balance between the areas will vary, year to year.

What was / were the notable topics/tracks of your year?

I apologize that the number of years, and the fact that they are far enough back, I really cannot recall what was how/not during those years. We had morphed from an Index:Legal start (the first years in Dallas, then Dallas/Boston), which as both an education program, and meeting of the various “interest groups,” into a multi-track educational program with a serious vendor Expo (helped, perhaps, by our experience with the TAP2 program with ALA).

 What was the hot technology or must have service, gadget or tool or idea?

Again — the passage of years — but we bounced from relatively limited word processing systems to full-blown and robust applications. We explored AI (still, yet, to reach very serious reality), through PDA’s, to really excellent case management applications, etc.

 If you had a keynote speaker who was it and what was their topic?  

There were a number of excellent speakers. The late Harris Morgan, while anything but a techie, demonstrated that an excellent and extraordinary speaker, can captivate an audience — and he was general in content but wonderful in delivery. There were others that should be on my list (I recall a CEO — I believe — from Chrysler Corp, who was also very strong), but I would have to dig out the materials, which I have retained, to see who spoke.

Do you have any great stories or meaningful show moments to share with us?

A few years into our stay at the Sheraton, on a warm Spring day, the conference was punctuated by someone sharing that a body was spotted floating down the river outside the hotel. While a bit grim, it certainly attracted folks outside onto the riverside patio the experience a bit of the grittier side of Chicago. On a more positive note(s), I recall the efforts of the Planning Committee and LPM staff to trademark the TECHSHOW name, and also the year that Susan Stewart of our staff, who submitted TECHSHOW for a national excellence award — which it won!