I recently sat down with two of the minds behind ILTA’s 2021 ILTACON, Dawn Hudgins (VP of Service Delivery) and Beth Anne Stuebe (Director of Publications & Press). We discussed the challenges and successes of the first-ever hybrid version of ILTA’s annual conference, recently held in Las Vegas. The entire recording of our conversation is available on our Spotify podcast channel, which you can find linked at the end of this article.
First, Dawn shared that nearly every challenge the planning team encountered while designing its first-ever live/hybrid combination was unexpected. The constraints created by Covid meant that very little could be anticipated. So when they began planning ILTACON21, the team decided to formulate a scalable strategy for the conference, knowing that travel restrictions and venue capacity would be impossible to predict with so many variables in constant flux due to the pandemic.
Despite these challenges, ILTA pulled off a highly successful conference both remotely and in person, thanks to a two-pronged plan. First, they established a baseline for in-person attendees’ food safety, social distancing, and countless other health concerns. Second, they allowed virtual attendees remote access through the flexible hybrid event platform Boomset.
When asked if she believes there will be any permanent changes to ILTA’s events resulting from the pandemic, Dawn shared that the organization plans to host hybrid events as long as needed; however, the goal is to get back to fully live events as soon as safely possible. This is because live events provide vital networking opportunities that remote access cannot duplicate; it’s the “special sauce” that makes them invaluable.
So that attendees know what to expect from future ILTA events, Dawn detailed the company’s health and safety plans, which include key factors like following state and federal mandates, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning procedures. In the end, it will be up to each induvial to act in accordance with their own comfort level. But ILTA staffers are prepared to do all they can to ensure everyone’s comfort, providing tools to help attendees navigate the tricky etiquette of respecting each others’ varying comfort levels at future live events.
In the meantime, we can look forward to ILTA’s next big events, the digital LegalSEC Summit scheduled for October, and next year’s ILTACON22, which will take place in National Harbor near Washington, D.C.
Click HERE to listen to the entire podcast episode on Spotify.