As we’ve said before, it’s tough to replace face-to-face interactions for building relationships. And, whether it’s law, technology, or selling deep-dish pizza, business is all about relationships. So, it was a relief to finally attend an industry event in person—after two years of computer screens and Zoom filters. Thanks to ABA TECHSHOW 2022, we could connect and reconnect with all of these wonderful people.

Two years is a long time to go without seeing your contacts in the legal space. For the tech space, though, it’s an eternity. Since the last ABA TECHSHOW, we’ve forged new relationships with vendors, attorneys, product specialists, consultants, and thought leaders. Many of these contacts weren’t around for the conference in 2020—including some on our team. So, we’ve been avatars, email addresses, and faces on a screen—until ABA TECHSHOW 2022. 

Undoubtedly, we made the most of it. We went to dinner with friends, new and old. We talked with strangers at the breakfast table. And, some of us ran around looking for people we only knew from Twitter.

We even got to make in-person videos (gasp!). 

Zack and Zola Suite filming at ABA TECHSHOW 2022

The programming itself delivered, as always. This year, there was a focus on cultural competency, the future of law, and how firms can be forward-thinking, innovative, and compliant. We jumped back-and-forth from infusing cultural competencies into a law office to interpreting data to drive decision-making.

We saw some of the best minds out there talk about alternative business structures (some of whom we’ve had on the Podcast). And, we heard lectures on blockchain technology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. 

The future is obviously tech-driven. And, a LOT of it is remote. Yet, for as much as we can learn about remote tech, and running a digital law firm from the ABA TECHSHOW 2022, we’re still most excited about the human element. This experience puts into perspective that we can forge new relationships in a virtual space, but for now, shaping, sharpening, and strengthening are best in-person.

Which makes us wonder: If our practices and client experiences continue to move into a virtual space, how do we align that with the need for in-person connection? Are we really leading the way when we all still need face-to-face to finalize our relationships?

Thank you, ABA TECHSHOW 2022, for being live and in the flesh. Truly. We loved it; we got a lot out of it. You brought many brilliant people together and we learned from so many of them.

And yet, we can’t help but feel an in-person legal tech event is somehow anachronistic. Should we be exploring ways to connect better virtually rather than finding ways to come together in person?

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Last updated October 7th, 2022