ILTACON, the annual conference of the International Legal Technology Association and the world’s largest annual legal tech conference, will take place in August as scheduled, ILTA’s CEO told me this week, “but it might not look like what you’d expect.”
On Wednesday, I interviewed Joy Heath Rush, ILTA’s CEO, for my Law Insights episode on Litera TV. I started with the question, “Will there be an ILTACON in August?”
“ILTACON will happen, it absolutely will happen,” Rush said. “Whether it happens in the way that we’re accustomed to, I think is the question.”
Rush said that ILTA is looking at all its options, mindful of the fact that many of its member organizations have travel bans in effect and mindful also of the need to protect the health and safety of everyone who might attend.
But ILTA also has to take into consideration contractual obligations with the host hotel, the Gaylord National in Opryland, and that hotel is not currently open for ILTA to speak with.
Rush anticipates that the conference will have both in-person and virtual components.
“We’re working with our hotel partners to try to figure out what the right combination of things is, but we’re also planning for a significant virtual component for the people who won’t be able to join us in Nashville.”
I asked Rush what changes might be necessary in the conference to ensure the safety and security of those who attend.
While those plans are still being made, she said, some changes have already been decided. For one, there will be major changes in how food service is handled, with buffet food service eliminated.
She said that Opryland hotels are experienced in protecting guests against virus outbreaks, having had to deal with a novavirus outbreak during a large event there in the past.
I asked when ILTA would make a final decision as to ILTACON’s format. She said they are still collecting data, talking to members to determine their ability to travel and talking with the business partners who exhibit and sponsor events at the conference.
After I spoke with Rush on Wednesday, she sent an email to ILTA members reiterating that planning for the conference continues in full force. Here is the memo she sent:
During the past few weeks, we have seen unprecedented change in our world. Our legal community has not been unscathed.
Many of you have asked about ILTACON.
ILTACON planning continues in full force, and we are looking forward to the great education, networking, and time with our sponsors.
ILTACON will happen. We humbly believe that it is the world’s premier legal technology conference. And we promise not to let you down.
However, we understand that ILTACON might look different based on the travel policies in place for our members.
We continue to work with our hotel partners at Marriott on right-sizing our in-person event while exploring options for our members who cannot join us in Nashville.
We will provide more updates as we have them. Please stay tuned for a LegalSEC Summit update.