It’s Friday morning and ILTACON16 is in the books.  This is my favorite conference of the year, for several reasons. First, ILTA is a user group for IT folks at law firms, which means they have a very degree of technical understanding. Second, they are interested in solutions that work well in their IT structure so they have a wider view of technical specifications.  And third, they talk with each other about vendors and solutions so they are well versed in the overall market tensions and variations.

The show was well attended as always, with approximately 1500 people on site. This made for good interaction in the conference venue, the National Harbor Gaylord. But the size of the venue also meant that the exhibit hall had plenty of elbow room. With 1500 attendees and close to 200 vendors in the hall, this was a welcome change from other shows with small uncomfortable venues.

Another feature of ILTACON is close placement of social events so that vendor parties and receptions for special groups were easy to find and therefore attend.  My favorite this year was the Bryan U reception at the Public House which had a great attendance of ESI luminaries including Michael Arkfeld, Casey Flaherty, Scott Cohen, Craig Ball, Ian Campbell and Kim Taylor. Host Bill Hamilton showed us a short video trailer discussing the schools latest project, an online ESI competency course.  It looks very promising and more information will be forthcoming on the schools web site.

The educational sessions were, as always, tremendous. Three and a half days of multiple sessions on a host of technical issues.  Security was a topic of high interest as was info governance with overtones of ediscovery.  And panels on project management and metrics with Mike Quartararo of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Scott Cohen of Winston Strawn were big draws.

Mike also was at the Authors Corner showing off his new book Project Management in Electronic Discovery. It is literally the first book on the subject and was a big hit. KCura even bought a number of copies to give away in their booth.  Great job Mike

And I was personally heartened to see the attendance at two lit support specific panels I was speaking on that were held Thursday afternoon, the last slot of the conference for educational sessions.  On the first one I was the moderator for A Road Map To Gathering and Analyzing Client Discovery Data Across Matters which featured AD’s own Kate Head as a panelist with ILTA stalwart, Chad Papenfuss, Litigation Support Services Manager at Kirkland & Ellis, roving the audience with a microphone and prompting discussions. Great session!

The second was the lit support groups conference ending  annualGather ‘Round for a Litigation Support Roundtable.  Great turnout of over 40 people including Kate, Chad, Julie Brown of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease and Craig Ball with a lively discussion on new technology and trends that left us heading home on a high note.

Finally I must note that this ILTACON was the swan song for Executive Director Randi Mayes, who has announced her retirement.  I’ve known Randi for more years than either one of us cares to admit and she has always been a great leader and an even better person. We’ll all miss her.

All in all a great conference with excellent content and attendee discussions. I highly recommend it and hope to see you more of you next year for ILTACON17 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

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