Was it just me, or did the Gaylord Opryland by some means appear to be much more tolerable this calendar year?
As I am composing this, I am sitting on a plane, having just taken off from Nashville immediately after attending my 11th Clio Cloud Meeting. I am, it turns out, a member of little club of less than 10 persons who have attended each individual ClioCon given that the to start with – a comparatively modest affair of about 200 persons who gathered in Chicago in 2013 for an party produced by a relatively small lawful tech upstart that was proselytizing for attorneys to go to the cloud.
Rapid forward from that humble starting and ClioCon has grown to more than 4,600 attendees, such as 2,500 in human being and an additional 2,100 digital the firm at the rear of it, Clio, has come to be just one of the biggest and most influential providers in legal tech and Jack Newton, its founder and CEO, has turn out to be fairly of an field icon, whose ClioCon keynote is constantly a seminal function of the meeting – just one that crammed a complete two several hours this year.
Oh and, by the way, legal professionals have, indeed, moved to the cloud.
(See my connected posts about the convention: Clio Goes All Out with Major Products Announcements, Which include A Particular Injury Add-On, E-Filing, and (Of Course) Generative AI and In Addition to Important Item Bulletins, Clio Rolls Out Slew of Solution Updates.)
More than my decades of attending this conference, I have been an unabashed lover, as I reiterated just final week in a article in which I said I take into account it the most effective convention in legal tech.
We could go off on a tangent below about what it usually means to be the ideal authorized tech meeting, simply because what I truly necessarily mean is that ClioCon is best for its target audience – solo and more compact organization attorneys who are intrigued in finding out about the most current developments in know-how and innovation. If, as an alternative, you are the chief legal officer at a Fortune 500 corporation or the taking care of husband or wife of a 2,000-attorney company, then this meeting is not for you.
But that would be beside the position, due to the fact, simply just put, there is no other conference in legal tech, irrespective of goal audience, that has the energy and vibe of ClioCon.
Even so, in my critique past 12 months of ClioCon, I tempered my common praise, experience that the convention experienced been a little bit off its A video game. Considering the fact that publishing that review, I have heard from several attendees who agreed with me – and, frankly, even from quite a few inside of Clio who agreed with me. In point, Newton and others informed me that many variations ended up built this 12 months specifically to deal with the concerns that I and other individuals elevated.
Which brings me back again to the Gaylord. ClioCon rotates on two-yr cycles to diverse host cities, and previous calendar year was its initial yr in Nashville, at the Gaylord Opry resort. I hated the venue final yr, and I know I was not on your own in that, and I blamed the location as element of the explanation the convention felt off. I described it as “a sprawling, byzantine facility that appears to have been made by a workforce influenced by the drawings of graphic artist MC Escher.”
So I was astonished to return this calendar year and uncover that it felt significantly less dreadful – in actuality, it felt properly tolerable. It will under no circumstances be my most loved hotel, but it wasn’t as terrible as I remembered it.
Clio will get a ton of the credit score for that. The organization went out of its way to supply navigational steerage of all types. There was the two an in-app map and a print map. Clio staffers were strategically situated during the advanced to serve as guides and signage was also far better. Furthermore – insider tip – I acquired there is a Gaylord app that provides dwell going for walks instructions in the model of Google Maps.
In my interview with Newton just prior to the exhibit, he talked about the tick-tock cycle of relocating the meeting every two years, with the initial “tick” 12 months in a new location bound to have some hiccups, but the next “tock” year the one particular that ought to get every thing quite-much correct.
Effectively, get it right it did. In my opinion, this was the finest ClioCon nevertheless, and when you have the finest 12 months of what was now the greatest meeting, that provides up to a superlative encounter.
After the 2019 conference (you recall, the beforetimes), I described the environment at this convention as like a cult – not a cult in the unfavorable feeling, but instead what I identified as a cult of innovation – a shared enthusiasm and pleasure among the nearly every person there for increasing the follow of regulation and developing a much more just lawful technique.
I would not have applied that term again this yr if not for the simple fact that other folks did. More than after, unprovoked by me, others I spoke to utilized the term in describing their feeling of the conference. It is straightforward to realize why. There is no other conference in legal tech or probably even legal commonly where by you can sit in a area of 2,500 persons – most of them doing work lawyers and legal specialists – and palpably feel their collective electricity.
I have explained it just before and I’ll say it once again: It is the persons who make ClioCon the superlative convention that it is. Clio describes its mission as to “transform the legal expertise for all,” and people today occur to ClioCon since they consider in that mission – not necessarily Clio’s organization mission, per se, but the mission of building a transformatively improved legal program.
Of study course, none of individuals folks would be there and none of that electricity would get released if Clio didn’t place on a terrific convention. If the attendees carry the gasoline of their enthusiasm, Clio presents the car that converts that enthusiasm into a unforgettable two-working day journey. Important features of the convention incorporated:
- A mix of instructional classes and speakers that coated an array of topics the two useful and assumed-provoking. Regrettably, since I spent so a lot of ClioCon’s two days recording podcasts and in conferences, I designed it to only a number of sessions, but the types I attended had been incredibly fantastic.
- Sturdy keynote speakers. As pointed out above, the seminal occasion of ClioCon is normally Newton’s opening keynote, where he lays out his considered on the condition and foreseeable future of the authorized industry and walks via Clio’s new solution releases and enhancements. But other keynote speakers this yr had been Mel Robbins, the former law firm who is now a very best-providing writer and best-rated podcaster Brian Banking companies, who was an NFL hopeful when he was arrested at age 16 and wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and who is now a speaker, lifestyle coach and creator and Chris Voss, a previous FBI international hostage negotiator, a Wall Street Journal bestselling writer, and CEO of The Black Swan Group.
- A buzzing exhibit hall. I do not know the quantities, but my perception was that this was ClioCon’s largest show hall at any time. It unquestionably felt that way, at least. Once again this yr, Clio kept to its observe of democratizing the exhibit corridor by giving each seller the similar small booth, a exceptional tactic that, I believe, puts greater emphasis on the solution and allows it speak for itself.
- Get-togethers. As it did very last year, ClioCon experienced an opening night time celebration at the Grand Ole Opry and a next-night social gathering in a downtown Nashville honky tonk, entire with mechanical bull. The 2nd night time celebration was a blow-out, lasting extensive into the night and then spilling more than into neighboring bars.
All of that said, there was at least a person glitch from final 12 months that repeated this yr. I wrote very last yr about the prolonged food items traces at the opening evening reception at the Opry that had individuals waiting 30 minutes or more just to get a smaller plate of food items and then anther 30 minutes to get a drink. While the consume portion received fixed this yr, the extended food stuff lines had been back. I realized of numerous folks who gave up and returned to the resort to eat. The trick turned out to be to hold out until finally the Opry show started out, when most absolutely everyone went inside of to acquire a seat. Those of us even now outside instantly had the food items trucks to ourselves.
A single other minor recommendation I’d make for subsequent calendar year is to include an solution in the application for looking at the total each day agenda. Except I skipped anything, the only way to look at the timetable in the app was based mostly on tracks. So you had to click on every single tab for every single observe to see what was coming up. I would have experienced yet another tab for almost everything.
Insofar as I go to conferences as media, I respect the fact that lots of lawful tech conferences make an hard work to accommodate the demands of the media. Several conferences present push rooms, for illustration, so we can have a quitter location to create and conduct interviews.
For quite a few years now, Clio has taken the strategy of putting the media front and center as a element of the convention. It reserved a cordoned-off location in the most important registration location in which we all experienced sections for our details publications or podcasts, and these of us who podcast each experienced our own table to set up and report interviews. Clio also reserves media searing at keynotes suitable up entrance, so we can not only be near to the speaker, but get excellent pictures and films.
A unique shout out to Clio’s media group, which may just be the ideal in the organization, led by Pamela Smith, who is the Radar O’Reilly of PR men and women, anticipating reporters’ each individual concern and need to have.
In the time it’s taken me to write this, my airplane has made it from Nashville to New York, where I’m off to another conference.
And, of program, now that I have last but not least altered to the Gaylord, ClioCon is shifting on to a new locale. The good news, that locale is Austin, Texas. I have currently bought it reserved on my calendar, and I recommend you do the exact same.