SundayRoastAnother day and yet another UK legal IT conference and networking* event being launched in an attempt to extricate more money from the legal IT vendors who are expected to sponsor it.

Here is the email that is being circulated to vendors at the moment…

Designing Your Email**

Dear XXXXX

Having been an IT Director for many years (but a long time ago) and having been vendor side for more years than that***, I realised earlier this year that there was no longer an event**** which appealed to the IT Directors – the budget holders – that enabled them to learn and network in an effective way.  I mentioned this in passing to two people who most of you would be familiar with: Stuart Walters of Olswang and Jan DeCerce***** of Lewis Silkin and we agreed that we saw the value in having an event which did not take us out of the office for longer than a day, where they could network and speak informally about their issues as well as having ample networking time with the vendors.   This event is invitation only to the IT Directors.   We are looking for a ratio of 2 IT Directors to 1 vendor.

This event will start on Sunday evening 27th September 2015****** at South Lodge Hotel near Horsham, there will be a day of content, another evening of networking, and a final night in the hotel in time to catch the early train back to work on the Tuesday morning.   The event will provide a mixture of keynote presentations, panel sessions and of course the networking opportunities which we all value.  This event differentiates itself because it’s around how an IT director can effect business transformation and make a real difference to a law firm’s business.

As a sponsor you can position yourself as the go-to expert in your field, offering practical solutions to the challenges the conference will debate over an exciting and interactive two evenings and one day.

Cost per package: fixed cost of £7,000 per vendor delegate.  For every two directors who accept we will only accept one vendor sponsorship so first vendors to pay are assured a place.  As the event is so close, full payment is required immediately upon booking.

We also have an optional additional package of a chef’s kitchen restaurant experience alongside the IT director delegates. This will be a great opportunity to network over Sunday dinner as you and the IT directors watch the chefs prepare a select menu.

If you are interested in this please let me know as numbers are limited.  I envisage this will come out at around an additional £450.

Any further information please reply to this email and I will call you.

David Lumsden
Registered Office Address:
Visavis Events Limited
71-75 Shelton Street
Covent Garden
London WC2H 9JQ

NOTES:

* Cynics would say the word “networking” now means buying drinks for strangers in the hope that one day they’ll buy something from you, thereby enabling you to pay your bar bill.

** Yes, it does look like someone forget to remove the template formatting or it is a very novel name for an event

*** That’ll be Tikit

**** Actually if the calibre of the delegates attending is anything to go by, the Legal Week Strategic Technology Forum in Portugal is doing this.

***** Jan De Coerce (better known as Jan Durant) is a serial legal IT event entrepreneur having also been one of the partners in the By Legal, For Legal and By Invitation Only events.

****** The old Dan Brown KnowList conference used to occupy the late September time-slot

COMMENT: We’ve spoken to a number of vendors about this event and apart from the usual grumbles to the effect that they do not have bottomless pockets to spend on events and/or that they have already allocated their marketing budgets for the current year, one of the big issues is that more and more vendors see a better RoI on running their own events rather than having to share prospects with competitors. (For example, this year’s BigHand London conference attracted more delegates that the ILTA EMEA event.)

Regarding this event in particular, the choicest comments we’ve heard are “At £7000 they are just taking the piss. And that figure is for a delegate pass… No stand, no balloons, nothing. Just to get a vendor rep to walk into the building.”

And, “Seven grand plus another £450 for a kitchen restaurant experience… If I want to see a cook preparer Sunday dinner, I can see that for free at my local Beefeater.”

For the record, along with this Horsham event, between now and early November, the UK/EMEA market will also see legal IT conferences and networking events hosted by the Legal Support Network, the 360 Legal Group, Thomson Reuters Elite (with Vantage EMEA in October) plus there is the recently rebranded INsig2 LawTech Europe Congress with has moved from Prague to Brussels and there is the new Legal IT Leaders event at Gleneagles and there is even a possibility we may see a relaunch of the Alternative Legal IT conference. (And apologies to anyone else we missed.)

Also for the record, the last couple of years have seen five legal IT events close in the UK – four were unable to find purchasers and one reportedly changed hands for £1.