2016 is well under way, and October is just on the horizon. That means our favorite event of year—Relativity Fest—is coming up fast. The goal of the conference is to offer bigger, better, and more immersive learning opportunities each year for attendees who want to dive deep and gather takeaways that will help their day-to-day work be more effective.
At last year’s conference, the sixth in its history, we heard judges’ recommendations for e-discovery teams, discussed collaborating across departments and the globe, and got a peek at the latest innovations in Relativity and the ecosystem.
Within the first several hours of registration opening for Relativity Fest 2016, 21 people signed up (and took advantage of a $750 introductory rate). What are they so pumped about? We heard three major refrains. Here they are from a handful of this year’s attendees.
1. You’ll Stay on the Cutting Edge
No one learns in a vacuum. The best way to keep your workflows fresh and your knowledge sharp is to closely follow industry news and trends, and learn from your peers’ experience.
Nathan Smith, e-discovery and Relativity expert at Kiersted Systems
“Last year, I learned more in three days than I would have in a year on my own. I couldn’t imagine the amount of knowledge I would gain. It’s so helpful for someone who’s running in as many directions as I do. I can’t miss it this October—everything’s bigger each year.”
Matt Nelson, director of litigation support – centralized services at Littler Mendelson P.C.
“The speakers and presenters at Fest each year are always the first thing I look at. Walking the showcase floor to see what new products developers and partners are working on is interesting, and of course the opening remarks from Andrew—you never know what you’re going to get.”
Cristin Traylor, counsel at McGuire Woods
“I love to learn about new functionality, as well as find out what others are doing to leverage the existing technology, and I especially enjoy hearing about custom development solutions. Fest is also a great way to catch up with others in the industry who I don’t get to see face-to-face very often, because so much is done over email or on the phone.”
Make it a Habit: Subscribe to The Relativity Blog and our other resources, and consider signing up for a service like Feedly to follow other e-discovery news outlets. There are plenty of ways to keep up with the latest news and lessons our space has to offer.
2. You’ll Meet Up with Peers
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: There’s no group of really smart people like the e-discovery community. There’s plenty to gain from a simple conversation with a colleague with a different perspective.
Christopher Walker, manager of litigation technology services at Torys LLP
“I am looking forward to building on the relationships I made last year. My main tip for new attendees is to strike up a conversation with the stranger who sits next to you at a meal or in the lounge while your phone is charging. Some of the best information I received was through these random conversations.”
Kevin Riley, litigation technology specialist at Torys LLP
“The keynote is fantastic—the excitement level is crazy—and everyone is very friendly and willing to share their experiences. I recommend attendees try not to overload their schedules with sessions so they can set aside time to network and have fun. It’s so helpful to meet new people who have the same challenges and are willing to share their expertise.”
Denise Bach, managing director of dispute advisory & forensic services at Stout Risius Ross
“Relativity Fest is an opportunity for e-discovery professionals from all over the country and beyond to converge, as ‘nerds,’ and discuss Relativity as well as the e-discovery industry—with people that are excited to talk about those things, too!”
Make it a Habit: Join—or start—a Relativity User Group near you. You can regularly connect with your local peers and keep the networking going all year long.
3. You’ll Get Hands-on with the Latest e-Discovery Software
It’s a great feeling to know you’re among the first to see what’s new and exciting in e-discovery software. Fest attendees say there’s nothing quite like the promise of a sneak peek to keep them on the edge of their seats.
Kay Schmidt, GS-OS Sec. Threat Analysis and Forensic at Commerzbank AG
“This year, I’m excited just to meet people doing the same things in different ways. I also love getting the latest news on Relativity, especially with the opportunity to participate in hands-on labs.”
Mala Ann Herman, senior Relativity specialist at Leidos
“I am most interested in seeing how all the ideas the community has submitted over the years are being translated into improvements in the software. The announcement of Relativity 9.3 last year provided quite a few of these.”
Gina Santeiu, e-discovery case coordinator at Stout Risius Ross
“At last year’s Relativity Fest, I had only worked with Relativity for about a week and I was focused on getting acquainted with the software. Now that I have more experience, I can focus on discovering new workflows, hearing how others are using Relativity in creative ways, and deepening my knowledge of the platform. As more of our clients are taking advantage of analytics, I’m especially interested in attending Relativity Analytics sessions to learn more about it and better support our clients.”
Make it a Habit: Attend the Relativity Spring Roadshow in a city near you. Relativity Fest isn’t our only big event of the year, after all.
If you’re attending Relativity Fest this year, what are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments or @RelativityFest on Twitter.
Sam Bock is a member of the marketing communications team at kCura, and serves as editor of the Relativity blog.