ILTACON 2018 is in the books, and, if you’re like me, you probably needed last week to recover! Now is the perfect time to reflect on ILTA’s annual event and the outcomes and key takeaways.

Attendance Records Broken; Focus on Innovation

This year’s conference hosted more than 1,800 members, a couple hundred more than attendance records from last year. Including sponsors and media, over 4,100 people attended the 2018 show, also topping previous attendance records.

As in years past, it was another week of informative sessions and productive conversations about how the right technology can transform a law practice. Innovation was prevalent across every presentation, no matter the topic: artificial intelligence, e-discovery, compliance, collaboration and communication, blockchain, document management, time and billing. Every discussion came back to the future of law, disruption, change and innovation.

Many speakers noted the lackluster adoption of new technologies by law firms, largely because of challenges with how to price new technology or implement it in the law firm business model. Keynote speaker Lisa Bodell, CEO of futurethink, cautioned about getting caught up in complexity and complacency, which prevent change in organizations. Bodell challenged ILTA attendees to make space for innovation and think proactively about the future of law.

To bring these concepts to life, ILTA sponsored an Idea Wall where members could write their biggest challenges and opportunities on Post-It notes. Throughout the conference, talented artists illuminated these ideas in the form of cartoons.

Lastly, there was buzz aplenty about one particular session where a 15-year-old ethical hacker showed ILTA attendees just how easy it is to target law firms and attorneys in today’s cybersecurity environment. To add to the pain, he used hacking tools that cost as little as $10. As the teenager conducted his presentation, worry and consternation were more than apparent on every person’s face sitting in that hotel ballroom. If security was not already top of mind for legal technologists attending ILTA, it was the number one topic of discussion after this thought-provoking session.

Workstorm Makes Its ILTA Debut

For Workstorm, this was the first year of sponsoring ILTA, and as expected, the conference did not disappoint. The week kicked off with the opening night video game-themed exhibit hall party. Getting into the party spirit, vendors and members went above and beyond with the Ghostbusters, Mario and Luigi, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and many other video game characters making appearances. Workstorm joined the fun by serving John Dalys in our booth, and many attendees enjoyed the refreshing drink as they walked the exhibit hall party.

During the exhibit hall hours, Workstorm had the pleasure of speaking to hundreds of ILTA members and providing demonstrations of our collaboration platform. It was exciting to showcase Workstorm’s messaging, email, videoconferencing, screen-sharing and file-sharing capabilities. Many attendees specifically inquired about Workstorm’s new integration with the iManage document management system. After three days of talking to ILTA attendees about the future of law firm communication, it is more than evident that collaboration platforms are poised to become the sole digital location where work happens in a law firm.

In addition to showroom floor conversations, collaboration took center stage in a few educational panels. A session entitled “Collaboration Platform Strategies: How They Overlap and How to Use Them Effectively” discussed the convergence taking place in communication, conferencing and document management technologies. Collaboration products allow for documents, live meetings and threaded discussions in one common place. The panel discussed how law firms can evaluate and manage collaboration tools, including developing use cases for collaboration and assessing how current tools could be integrated. When polling the audience, user experience was the highest-rated consideration when choosing a collaboration platform.

As ILTA came to a close, what was my key impression? Staying up to speed with the innovation in legal communication and collaboration will help law firms stay competitive in a shifting legal landscape.

ILTACON 2019: Don’t Miss Next Year

Thanks to all the legal and technology professionals that volunteer their time to make ILTACON a valuable and fun place to gather with our community. I look forward to next year’s conference, as ILTA continues to evolve and improve.

See you in Orlando, August 18-22, 2019!