The trickle of LTNY briefing cancellations and rescheduling requests started over the holidays. I expected some from the Delta wave, but I did not expect this Monday’s wave of ‘we regret to inform you that CompanyX will not be presenting at Legalweek due to safety concerns’. Many of us have been looking forward to Legalweek New York 2022 as our first large scale industry in-person event since the pandemic came roaring in on Legalweek 2020’s heels. All vax’d up and hopefull, I committed back in October and have been slowly filling my briefing and meeting slots. Now I find myself answering vendor inquiries as to whether they should pull out. My friends in New York think that Omicron will be past its peak by February. Vendors who still view Legalweek as a direct marketing event to drive sales prospects have not been paying attention to its evolution. Legal technology/services buyers have matured and rarely wander about the exhibitor floor with a seven-figure budget in hand. They do schedule multiple demos or presentations with RFP finalists at the event. Usually so that they can be wined and dined by reps.
Legalweek has become one of the largest job fairs in our market. I love lifting keyboards at booths to check for stashed resumes. All joking aside, the Legalweek events are some of the best professional networking opportunities available for our relatively siloed industry. We go to see the latest releases, catch up with former/future co-workers and generally touch the pulse of the diverse legal technology world.
Every year I track the total Legalweek sponsors and exhibitors to gauge marketing budgets and market confidence. 2022 looked like it was coming back strong from the virtual 2021 downturn. ALM seems to have dropped or changed the historic ‘Diamond Sponsor’ level to include most exhibitors on the sponsor page, but the three small exhibition halls look reasonably booked on the map. I still hope that the reduced floorspace sees good attendance. Omicron could kill the exhibit hall foot traffic, but that is hard to predict. As of this point, I am still filling newly available briefing/meeting slots and hoping to attend. I hope to see you there.
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