For more than three decades, an annual pilgrimage to Chicago in late winter or early spring has been de rigueur for aficionados of legal technology to attend the American Bar Association’s TECHSHOW, one of the oldest and most-venerable conferences focused on technology in law practice.

But there will be no trips to TECHSHOW this year in Chicago or any other city, as the planning board that runs the conference has decided to pull the plug on the physical event and reboot as a virtual conference.

The conference had been slated to take place March 10-13, 2021, in Chicago. The virtual version will be that same week, although the days have not been pinned down.

The co-chairs of the 2021 planning board, Roberta Tepper and Allan Mackenzie, said on the TECHSHOW blog that the virtual conference will offer “the same great sessions, CLE programs, and speakers, delivering the latest in legal tech, practice management, and more, all from the comfort of your home or office.”

They also issued a call for proposals from those wishing to speak at the conference. Proposals are due by July 27.

What about Startup Alley?

For the past four years, I’ve collaborated with the TECHSHOW board to present Startup Alley, which was both an opening-night pitch competition and a special section of the exhibit hall set aside to feature emerging legal tech startups.

Tepper and Mackenzie tell me that they plan to continue the startup-competition this year and will provide more details once they further develop plans for the conference format and schedule.