New LegalTech NY (LTNY) attendees are often surprised at the pace and not as prepared as they could be to make the show work for them. Here a few tips from our 15 years of attending LegalTech. We've left out all the 'wear comfy shoes' and 'don't talk on your phone in a meeting'.
1. There is no ‘cone of silence’!: You wouldn’t believe the things we’ve heard in the common areas of the Hilton over our 15 years attending LTNY. Consider the property a ‘hot’ spot in that you never know who is at the table beside you in the restaurant or is sharing the elevator with you, so be discreet!
2. Leave time to get where you are going: Particularly if you are staying in the Hilton. In years past, a 15 minute elevator wait was the norm. It seems to have gotten better since, but leaving a buffer is always a good idea.
3. Multi-task: Often, vendor plans for industry events begin and end with working their booth. To maximize your investment, take advantage of all the opportunities available to network and/or promote your brand including connecting with partners, media, bloggers and additional industry associations on-site such as ILTA & ARMA.
4. Scheduling is paramount: I am sure by now you have glimpsed at the show schedule to see what is happening when. What about your own company’s schedule? Have you pre-scheduled meetings? You get the idea. Without a schedule and timeline of ‘what? where? when?’ for your LTNY team, prepare for chaos, frustrated colleagues and lost opportunities.
5. Share your learnings and insights garnered from sessions and floor conversations with your colleagues and fellow legal professionals. Twitter (#LTNY15), LinkedIn and even Pinterest are all good outlets for this.
6. Avoid meeting space hell: Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges at LegalTech NY is finding open meeting space on-site, so prepare accordingly. Book a separate meeting space, locate a few off-site meeting options beforehand or direct all meeting traffic to your booth to collectively find appropriate space. We have managed to find a few choice places to meet, but then again, you don't expect us to publish those, do you? :-)
7. Social networking: The first word in social networking is SOCIAL. In an industry with the staying power of legal - no one ever leaves, they just change companies/firms - it is just as valuable to make social connections with peers and contacts. During social events, stay social! Don’t start listing the bullet points for your product or bust out a laptop/tablet for a ‘quick demo’. Seriously… we’ve had it happen… more than once!
9. Don't hog the hashtag. There are many people that participate in the LegalTech NY social media world so be respectful and don't hog the hashtag! If you are including the #LTNY15 hashtag (which you should be), don't send tweets from multiple company/employee accounts. There are always a few people/companies that decide that social media success is based on the number of tweets they post. In fact, often those people are ridiculed and avoided, so don't be one of them!
10. Booth workflow: LegalTech NY attracts attendees from all walks making it different than an event like ILTA where everyone that stops by your booth may be a qualified prospect. Have someone act as ‘chief traffic coordinator’ in the booth and organize the flow of foot traffic to quickly qualify attendees that are truly interested in your product/service so you can engage them. Remember: Treat everyone with respect. Even if they are with a 2 person firm now, they may be hired by your largest client in a couple of years!