It’s never too late to plan for your next eDiscovery conference.
Conferences and seminars are important business activities, and if you work for a corporation or a law firm, eDiscovery is most certainly part of your business. If you’re interested in how eDiscovery intersects with your job and industry, attending eDiscovery conferences can provide you with invaluable insight on how to level up your litigation preparedness. Often, you’ll walk away with a list of new industry contacts that will help you advance your bottom line while teaching you something new and valuable from your peers.
One month into 2021, it’s neither too late nor too early to plan for the rest of the year. There are plenty of eye-catching events to watch out for—even in the face of COVID-19, these events are getting ramped up. We have compiled an extensive list of eDiscovery conferences for your reference below.
But before we get to the list of conferences themselves, let’s talk a bit more about why you should be attending these events, even if your involvement in eDiscovery within your firm or corporation isn’t a primary focus of your responsibilities or daily activities.
The value of attending conferences
Why are conferences significant for those people involved, whether they be attendees, speakers, or hosts? For many individuals, conferences represent:
- A place for networking: Unless you attend, you’ll never know what potential new contacts you could have befriended.
- Expanding industry knowledge: Specialized seminar topics from credentialed organizations provide concentrated insight into the industry at hand.
- Presenting ideas among peers: The freedom to discuss newly sparked ideas with like-minded attendees, away from usual day-to-day work tasks, is precious.
- Receiving feedback: Receive and incorporate input from knowledgeable, experienced players in your industry—or even those across other industries.
- Meeting industry leaders: Close proximity to special guests and the chances for real Q&A time with them are special conference-specific opportunities.
- Advancing one’s career: Conferences offer attendees concentrated time for engaging with developments in their industry—and perhaps even planning next steps in their own path.
- Discovering the unknown: You are likely to discover issues, regulations, responsibilities, products and solutions that are brand new to you. These encounters can do more than radically improve or simplify your eDiscovery needs. As eDiscovery methods and solutions continue to expand beyond the eDiscovery arena itself, unexpected discoveries at conferences may turn out to help with your legal, regulatory, compliance and even communication needs as well.
How to decide which eDiscovery conferences to attend
Looking at our eDiscovery conference list, you may find yourself wondering how to decide which event(s) to attend. There’s no special algorithm for this, unfortunately. To get the most value out of your conference sign-up, some things to keep in mind are:
- Preparation: First, of course, you may have a work-life and/or a life-life that requires extra adjustment efforts when you want to attend something that lasts more than an hour. Consider whether the conference is in-person (which requires more logistical maneuvering), or virtual (which requires determining how you can best participate in specialized learning and networking via computer).
- Time: How much time DO you want to invest in special seminars, workshops, or lectures? Which topics or speakers at the eDiscovery conference interest you most? What do you have to do to get to the event—how much time will it really take—and what do you hope to extract from the conference?
- Money: Due to the state of traveling and pandemic requirements, over the past year many events were discounted or charged differently than previous conferences’ catered gatherings at hotels or convention centers. Nonetheless, if attendance fees are an issue, consider whether you can receive discounts or if there’s an option to pay per seminar attended, versus paying for a whole three-day shebang. It can’t hurt to contact the conference organizers about different avenues for entry.
If you’re still overwhelmed by conference options, try browsing established eDiscovery organization resources to see what topics they are promoting or events they are attending themselves. If you choose to attend an eDiscovery (or any) conference, the important thing is to create your own agenda that serves your needs and wants. Each event is different; even events by the same presenter can differ from year to year. Create for yourself a game plan that will maximize the investment of your time and energy.
Certainly, the COVID era has impacted conferences and gatherings worldwide, and it will likely force a hand in your attendance decision-making process. (Side note: Check out BIA’s tips on making eDiscovery pandemic-ready as well as data security while working from home.) But the value of human-to-human connection remains, even when the experience is digital. Depending on the virtual platform’s interface and experience, and as long as you’ve got a steady internet connection, you can still listen in, contribute your thoughts, and engage with other attendees and guest lecturers in breakout chat rooms. By now, more than a year into the worldwide shift to distanced gatherings, digital conference platforms have upped their game rapidly, and event organizers’ virtual savvy is catching up in kind.
List of eDiscovery-related conferences for 2021
Make the most of your eDiscovery conference time.
Regardless of where you’re located, attending a conference often involves a great deal of preparation, time, and money. So, have your agenda and game plan ready to make the most of your investment. Be prepared and know your personal objectives for each eDiscovery conference you attend, and make a habit of bumping into strangers while you’re there (even if it’s a digital poke).
Education is key to success in all facets of life, and that’s especially true in an industry like eDiscovery that continues to evolve and improve at a breakneck speed. It’s important that you routinely keep up on the latest developments, or you could find yourself at a disadvantage – or worse, wasting time and money on old, outdated processes, workflows and technologies. Like with any other area of life, personal or professional, a little education can go a long way.