The 2020 Clio Cloud Conference is being moved to a venue apropos of its name — the cloud.
The practice management company Clio, which has staged the law practice and technology conference annually since 2013, has pulled the plug on the physical conference that had been scheduled for Oct. 15-16 in San Diego.
In its place, Clio will present the conference as an entirely online, four-day event, Oct. 13-16. The company says it will be “a re-imagined virtual experience” at which “attendees can expect a high caliber of educational content, networking opportunities, connections with speakers, and social experiences.”
Jack Newton, cofounder and CEO of Clio, told me yesterday that, although he is disappointed to have to cancel the physical event, he believes the virtual event will live up to the bar the company has set with its conference in the past.
“I told the team, ‘If we’re going virtual, we need to have complete conviction that we can do a virtual conference that kicks ass — and that kicks ass Clio style; if we can’t recreate that, then we won’t do it at all.’”
Newton said that he is excited about the opportunity that a virtual conference presents, and in particular the opportunity to increase the reach and accessibility of the conference.
Where Clio had hoped to attract up to 2,000 to its physical conference, the virtual conference could potentially draw many thousands more than that, Newton said, and with more participants from outside the U.S.
Through June 30, Clio is selling conference passes for $99. The price will go up after that date, but Newton said the amount has not yet been decided.
Those who preregistered for the San Diego conference are receiving full refunds.
Clio had previously announced that Seth Godin, a marketing innovator and New York Times bestselling author, would be a keynote speaker for its San Diego conference. Godin will remain a keynote for the virtual conference, with additional keynotes yet to be announced.
Clio says the conference will offer “a connected experience for everyone,” with breakout rooms, Q&A with speakers, curated networking, and other opportunities to connect. There will also be interactive sessions, workshops, and social events, “dreamt up differently while maintaining fun and flair.”
Newton said that as he has come to appreciate the benefits of a virtual conference, he has concluded that future conferences will always have a virtual component, even when we return to meeting face-to-face.
The challenge, he said, is enabling people to engage over a tech platform in a way that approximates a physical conference.
“How do we recreate all the serendipity of a physical conference in an online world? It will be a lot of very deliberate choices by us that will recreate some of that magic in an entirely different environment.”