Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: michael simon. Published: 2014-03-02 19:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

A Bevy of Booths

Cannot conceal Industry


Anonymous (from a friend whose name I won’t reveal so he won’t get fired)

First of all, I’d like to give a big thanks to Greg Buckles for inviting Seventh Samurai to guest-post to the eDJ blog.  We wanted to share our take on LegalTech 2014–before too many of the ugly reviews slouched in.  I have been going to LegalTech for more than a decade, so I remember both the biggest boom and bust years. 

Even compared to some of the bad years of the past (anyone recall 2008?), 2013 was a tough year for many vendors in the legal community, and this clearly showed at LegalTech.  Attendance was down and much of the exhibit floor looked bleak.  Even the “official line” seems rather tepid this year, as if the show sponsors are not even trying to put a happy face on this one.

Some of this deflation could be explained by the weather (I was told that 1,700+ flights were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday).  Yet, I don’t think the weather was entirely to blame; people still made it to the show.  The Hilton lobby was just as crowded as ever, as was the lobby bar.  It seems more as if they just weren’t spending nearly as much time at the actual event as they once did.  Something else had to be going on.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had rotten weather for LegalTech.  New York City in late-January/mid-February isn’t known for being balmy.  Yet, inclement weather is easy to ignore if you’re indoors.  In the past that is exactly what we all did, as we spent most of our time inside the Hilton.  

So, you’d thus expect this year’s lousy weather to keep people at the event and in the exhibit hall.  To the contrary, however, it seemed this time the weather kept people away from the event, not at it.  Attendees were instead stuck in nearby hotels, in meeting, and demo rooms, often having to re-jigger schedules because traveling even just a few blocks suddenly took dramatically longer than usual (navigating New York City streets in business attire after four inches of snow followed by freezing rain could have qualified as an Olympic event for Sochi, if only they had had that much snow).

Indeed, in recent years, it seems that taking in LegalTech has required more and more time off-site, away from  the Hilton.  What’s driving this change?  It seems like veteran and startup vendors alike are relying less and less on their booths to drive traffic and opportunities.  Instead, these vendors are investing the bulk of their LegalTech marketing dollars on off-site meeting/demo rooms.  I think it is a symptom of a bigger change – with more on that in my next post.


Michael Simon – eDiscovery Expert Consultant – Seventh Samurai 

Contact Michael at Michael.Simon@Seventhsamurai.com

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