We’re on a TECHSHOW countdown and with 11 days to go, we’re hopping in the WayBack Machine to hear from past chairs and take a look at What Was at TECHSHOW. Take a look at the stars of today (and yesterday!) that Jim had on his planning board in 2005!
Jim Calloway – ABA TECHSHOW Chair 2005
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 have been Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association Management Assistance Program for over 18 years and am still doing that job. But the subject matter has evolved greatly. I recall my first “tips” program here included this cool new website that let you locate sites on the Internet named Google and telling lawyers about PDA’s – devices to hold your calendar entries that looked like a mobile phone, but didn’t connect wirelessly to anything.
What was / were the notable topics/tracks of your year?
E-discovery was the hot topic that year. We also had a track for family practice lawyers with programs like “Spy v. Spy—Electronic Snooping by Husbands, Wives, and Lovers.” I believe that was the first time many attendees had even considered that possibility.
What was the hot technology or must have service, gadget or tool or idea?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) was a new hot thing. Phone calls over the Internet sounded very interesting. Skype was just getting off the ground.
One unique thing was that of our 60 speakers nearly 20% of them published a law-related blog. This was at a time when the word “blog” had been Merriam-Webster’s most-searched-for definition of the previous year, and yet, according to a Pew Internet survey, only 38 percent of Internet users then knew what the term “blog” meant. Our TECHSHOW faculty is always ahead of its time.
If you had a keynote speaker who was it and what was their topic?
The Keynote was Eugene Lee, Vice President of Product Marketing at Adobe Systems Incorporated. Adobe released its PDF format in 1993. So most lawyers were familiar with and using the PDF file format regularly then.
Do you have any great stories or meaningful show moments to share with us?
I love our new home at the Chicago Hilton. But back then the show was held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. As those who attended in that era will attest, the Sheraton lobby bar was the hot spot. Many TECHSHOW legends held court there for hours including the late Ross Kodner and the late Jim Keane. You sometimes would learn about new cutting edge technology there that the presenters were too cautious to talk about in their formal presentation. And then there was that night that many of the guys took pictures of themselves in a white feather boa. Thankfully Facebook was only open to a few college students then and the rest of social media hadn’t been invented.
Any final thoughts about your TECHSHOW experience?
TECHSHOW limits the number of sessions a speaker can have each year. This means there are more individual expert speakers at this conference than any other legal tech conference. It is truly the annual gathering of the tribe of legal “teckies.” You can meet the people whose product reviews and blog posts you have been reading for years. I have many great friends that I only see once a year−at ABA TECHSHOW. But it also may be the most open and welcoming conference you will find. Every year new attendees come to ABA TECHSHOW and find the people who think like they do. It can be a great refresher from being the only technology geek arguing for change at your law firm.