The Butterworths Alternative Legal IT Conference which took place at the end of last week seems to have received a good (well goodish) reception. We say “seemed” as obviously we haven't heard a squeak from the organisers (never seems to occur to them to follow up an event with a post-match report for the benefit of people who weren't there, with a view to encouraging them to attend the following year – its called marketing) but we had our spies on the ground. Although there were some grumbles – one person told us “Day two got off to a bit of a naff start – the agenda was changed and one of the sessions (HR implementations cancelled) so there were a few moans around the table.” Plus we also heard  complaints the venue was difficult to get to, particularly if you were travelling by train from the North of England – however this report (from a top 100 firm delegate) seems to best sum up the experience…

“One of the better conferences I have been too. As it was aimed at the smaller law firms, the audience was made up of a lot of people that I hadn't met before (and firms I hadn't heard of!) rather than the usual suspects who do tend to dominate these things. The topics were interesting and well delivered by the speakers. The mix of presentations and round table discussions was spot on and there was a lot of interaction, particularly in the round table sessions, giving an interesting and varied discussion. Whilst there is always IT jargon to decipher, I found this conference to be particularly plain speaking and not too techie – some of the bigger conferences get carried away with the detail of how things work rather than the principles involved. And it wasn't all about solutions – the discussions on how IT interacts with the business, the pressures that businesses are currently facing and how IT can support that and the effect of the Legal Services Act were topics that I found particularly thought-provoking and insightful. It was a very relaxed and informative conference that I would definitely recommend attending. Whilst there were suppliers present, they weren't pushy or in your face and blended into the conference very well. No hard selling!!”

We also asked David McNamara from SOS (one of the suppliers who were present – Pilgrim were also there) for his views. He said “As one of the sponsors of The Alternative Legal IT Conference, we were very pleased with the event overall and found it extremely useful to attend. In particular, the roundtable discussions immediately after lunch on the first day were a great opportunity to share views and thoughts and the presentations on the second day, in which IT directors from several firms outlined their particular configuration of systems in use and their current projects and priorities, was very enlightening. From SOS's viewpoint, it helped to confirm that we do indeed have a very strong product offering and strategy for the mid-tier firms, that can address many of the key issues highlighted”.