Fulton County Daily ReportApril 7, 2000
Exhibitors Scramble to Wow Profession at Law Tech Show
Darryl Van Duch
CHICAGO-There are trade show exhibitors and there are trade show exhibitors. And nearly all kinds were to be found at the ABA TECHSHOW 2000 last week at Chicago's Sheraton Hotel and Towers. One thing they all had in common though was their unfailing belief that their product or service for the legal community was superior to all others.
"We're the best because we simply do a better job for our clients," said one document management software company representative.
"We're the best because our software is unmatched in its user-friendly features," assured a competitor, two booths down from the first.
"We're the best because we pioneered the field
and have been around the longest," grinned a third. Perhaps
one of the most aggressive at promoting his new product-and it
was undeniably an impressive niche item that could "revolutionize"
the industry as claimed-was Jay M. Jackson, president and co-founder
According to Jackson, a non-lawyer marketer,
The first such Internet deposition was actually conducted Monday, and very successfully so, Jackson said, from an unknown location with undisclosed lawyers and for secreted parties.
Exactly how do the real time kits work? "I can't tell you that," Jackson said.
However, Julie J. Furer, a co-founder and an associate
at Chicago's Schiff Hardin & Waite, was also on hand to detail
the many ways
Even Jackson's publicist was on hand to point visitors
to the big write up
RealLegal.com CEO Martin Stein-berg, for instance, had a six-foot stuffed angry lawyer walking around as the company's mascot. "The idea came to me at a Halloween costume party," Steinberg said.
And Findlaw dressed up its reps with judicial robes and old-England powdered wigs.
And Always, The Toys
Also, as at any trade show, most of the TECHSHOW exhibitors had some gadget or thing-a-ma-jig to give away free to any passerby who would stop and chat and listen to a sales pitch.
RealLegal.com handed out hand-held versions of its angry lawyer that screamed when squeezed, "My client is innocent." But the showstopper award had to go to Enlighten's Lee Ulrich who passed out balls that flashed a red light when bounced on the floor.
"I've had other exhibitors ask if they could have one of my balls so they could bounce it on the floor...and get people to stop and talk," noted Ulrich.
The ABA itself gave out a handy ABA TECHSHOW 2000 CD-Rom that provided detailed listings of all sessions and exhibitors and made it possible to tap into an online video feed of key events. Even more popular was the accompanying T-shirt and red handbag with Lexis-Nexis' logo on it. Also popular was Prolaw's distribution of a zebra-like Beanie Baby knock off.
The attached pennant with the company's trademark on it, however, was seen sticking out of nearly every garbage can on the convention floor.