With over 75 new exhibitors on the floor and one of the most aggressive educational schedules delivered to date, the 2019 ABA TechShow was full of fresh ideas and new products fit for lawyers at any stage of their careers.

While the event has been known for its technology focus, this year an increasing number of programs offered training on client service, marketing, and business development. A trend that directly impacts the choice exhibitors make and how much they invest in a booth, as it is common for attendees to leave a CLE and head straight to the hall to shop for products or services they heard about in the session. The mix of the 75 new exhibitors included options complimentary to the CLE programming expanding from traditional practice and document management systems to marketing, chat, and messaging tools.

An important addition to the agenda was the ABA TechShow Academic Track. The track included courses for law school leaders providing substantive training on topics for law school curriculums. As always, attendees enjoyed the choice of countless technology-related topics from long-standing favorites on Microsoft Office to cutting-edge courses on Block Chain and AI. Between sessions, attendees were able to take in presentations by vendors in the Lunch and Learn Track and demonstrations in the hall.

Startup Alley

First, congratulations to JurisBytes for their win with product JurisMS! Not only were they founded by two female attorneys, but the product also solves the challenge of managing client text messaging and case updates through a law-firm branded app.

A very close competition, voting was not easy this year as products in similar categories fought neck and neck. Your Firm App was head to head with JurisMS and known for a stellar presentation at the 2018 Clio Cloud Conference. While document solutions Documate and DocStyle aim to tackle the mountain of daily document production tasks firms face.

Sponsored by Clio, several of the Startup Alley participants also announced their integration partnership at the event. Which was followed by two full days of conversations as evident by the lines at each of the finalist’s kiosks.

Expo Floor Trends

There’s no doubt that the ABA TechShow EXPO continues to be a critically important event for both emerging companies and industry titans wanting to reach small to mid-sized law firms. A place to build relationships with potential integration partners, law firm consultants, and influencers.

With legal practice management platforms traditionally dominating the space, this year was a refreshing mix of newcomers offering client communication tools, cybersecurity providers, practice area specific solutions and law firm marketing groups.

A noteworthy new addition and a return exhibitor going bigger than ever before demonstrate that ABA TechShow will continue to be the must exhibit and attend the conference for vendors who are serious about making a name for themselves in the legal community.

And finally… a word from Ally McBeal.

Australians know how to make a splash, and that’s exactly what now Chicago based Practice Management Platform, Smokeball did when they shared their new commercial with actress Calista Flockhart. Who claims she “Invented Smokeball.”

A non-traditional marketing strategy for the legal industry will be one to follow, already boasting an impressive view count of over 75,000 and countless comments from interested attorneys after seeing Smokeball for the first time. The brain-child of powerhouse President, Jane Oxley, Smokeball’s ad demonstrates how creativity can give any organization the ability to stand out in a highly competitive space.

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