The ABA’s annual TECHSHOW conference is kicking off in Chicago this week. I wish I could be there. But, as always, there are a few things that get in the way: the cost, the travel (which is really not a big deal for me since I’m only 90 minutes away), and the timing. For some reason, March is always a busy month.
As a tech enthusiast, TECHSHOW is probably worth the annual pilgrimage. Thousands of lawyers attend, but there are many more who can’t attend for one reason or another.
That’s why I wish the ABA would open up this conference a bit further and allow “attendance” remotely. For example, the ABA could offer streaming video of the presentations. Alternatively, the ABA could offer the presentations on YouTube after the event is over.
There are a bunch of “objections” to this idea: the cost, CLE credit, and so on. I say hogwash. A group of lawyers ought to be able to figure out solutions to any hurdles. For example, there could be a variety of video options:
- Video streaming with CLE for a certain registration cost
- Video streaming without CLE for a lower registration cost
- Delayed video (YouTube) at no cost
- Presentations on DVD for a set cost
Another huge annual conference, TED, offers streaming video for 20% of the cost to attend the event in person. TED begins to upload videos to its web site and elsewhere shortly after the conference ends, usually one a day—at no cost to anyone.
Of course, nothing can beat attending any conference in person. If the ABA had more options for people who can’t attend to enjoy at least some of the benefits of the show, it would be doing all lawyers a great service. So who do we start to pester to make this happen?