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ABA TechShow ignores legal marketing again

ABA TechShow 2006 has announced its TechShow agenda. Surprisingly, there is nothing on the agenda focused on legal marketing via the Internet or through the effective use of technology.

In the late 90’s I attended TechShow and received a wealth of practical information and insight on how to market my law firm via the Internet and cost effective technology. Combined with other things I learned and the people I met, I went away believing TechShow was the most valuable seminar I ever attended. For at least the second year in a row, ABA TechShow show is not including any programs I can see that will help the small or large law firm use technology to grow their business.

Last year I posted that the ABA TechShow was taking a step backward in ignoring marketing. Jerry Lawson, author of the ABA’s Complete Internet Handbook for Lawyers and publisher of NetLaw blog agreed with me that the ABA TechShow should consider the follow subjects:

  • CSS/Web Standards Web design which are accessible to disabled people, cost less to build & cost less to maintain than Web sites now used
  • How to select Web site and other technology providers for marketing
  • How blogs & RSS enhance the reputation of solo lawyers beyond anything previously available
  • Email marketing problems with spam filters, corporate firewalls and email being view as obtrusive
  • Cyber-publicity via the Internet
  • Very low cost buys for sponsored links at Google & Overture
  • Very simple tips on how to index a Web site for the search engines
  • Advantages & disadvantages of directories such as FindLaw &

I know the board for ABATech Show is a talented group of lawyers who are well intentioned in bringing the best to the ABA members. But why not accept speaker proposals like other seminar organizers do? Post on the Internet about the opportunity to speak. Gosh knows blogs are an excellent way to get the word out when it comes to legal technology subjects.

I emailed the Chair of ABA TECHSHOW Planning Board who is in charge of speaker inquiries asking what the process was for submissions. I never got the courtesy of a response. Maybe I was too late, maybe I am a pariah for criticizing TechShow last year. I don’t know.

Knowing that among the readers of my blog are ABA TechShow Board members, past speakers at TechShow or lawyers who know the people assembling the speakers, I posted asking if anyone knew what the procedure for requesting to speak at ABA TechShow was and the deadline for speaker presentations. No response.

ABA TechShow will have some excellent programs and presenters and like I said is being run by well intentioned lawyers. However, to outsiders who may have things to offer the ABA membership, the ABA TechShow appears to be run by a law-and-tech clique. Unless you’re in the clique, close to someone in the clique or the vendor of a product the TechShow supports, I’m not sure you’ll ever be asked to present, let along get an email responding to such a request.

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