Talk about networking. I feel like all the software and services companies in the legal space are gathered in New York City this week for the annual LegalTech NY shindig. The number of exhibitors, attorneys or representatives from their firms is striking.
Luckily ALM has provided a handy color coding for the badges so you can identify an exhibitor, an event participant, a member of the media, etc. in a glimpse of an eye. Of course, once you have done that, you still need 30 seconds to figure out who the other person is and what they do to make sure that you can provide them information in the right context.
Also, I’ve always noticed how arduous it is to navigate the floors of these shows – tons of booths, windy aisles, multiple floors, people I want to meet changing floors etc. It’s hard to find people.
Why would we not leverage the social networking tools and directories now emerging to target who you want to “bump” into at a trade show like this? Wouldn’t it be cool to check out your network from a site – such as Martindale-Hubbell (shameless plug) – to see who might be going to the event, a dinner or have free time to meet up. Armed with that information, you could more easily set up meetings, agree to meet at a social gathering…or perhaps just arrange to be in the right place at the right time.
The combination of online social networking platforms and live meetings could be the “secret sauce” to bring the social back to social networking as we know it today. I love the aspect of instant gratification of communicating with my colleagues, peers, friends and even family over social networking tools, but there’s something invaluable about shaking hands, reading body language and just hanging out. Why not have technology work to make that happen more easily.
If you’re reading this during 2/5 or 2/6 – come see me at the LexisNexis booth in LegalTech – I am doing demos of our new cool web 2.0 products!