Here’s a sign that things are moving – slowly, but surely – toward normalcy. The first event with an in-person component – ILTACON 2021 – is coming in August – 22nd through 26th! This year’s conference will be a hybrid of in-person and online events, but those attending in person will have a specific requirement to meet: proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
According to Legaltech® News (ILTACON 2021: What Happens in Vegas Will Require Proof of Vaccination, written by Frank Ready), the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) will require guests to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to entering the conference’s physical location at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Dawn Hudgins, vice president of service delivery at ILTA, noted that reactions to the vaccination policy have run the gamut. Some people have expressed gratitude that ILTACON will require attendees to be vaccinated because “they will feel safer to attend.”
“And we have people who love to come but they are not in the position to either get the vaccination, whether it’s by personal choice or by health issues. And they are disappointed, obviously,” she said.
ILTA is still working out the specifics of how they will verify that a guest is vaccinated, but the organization is already pretty clear on what it will not be doing with that data. “The security around the vaccinations is held at the highest regard. We will not be keeping or storing that information other than really just for checking purposes at the onset of this. We do not want to hold anybody’s personal information,” said Beth Anne Stuebe, director of publications and press at ILTA.
ILTA became the first legal organization to announce plans for a return to live events following the virtual turn that the pandemic forced many conferences into throughout much of 2020. CLOC’s Global Institute, for example, remained entirely digital over the course of its four-day run last month. Relativity Fest 2021 will also require an internet connection instead of a plane ticket when it kicks off in October, as will the Clio Cloud Conference the same month.
ILTACON will also feature a robust virtual component to accommodate guests who are unable to be at Mandalay Bay Resort. All programming will either be streamed live or recorded and made available later online. Online guests will also have access to virtual exhibit hall tours and product demonstrations, as well as an opportunity to connect with vendors or in-person attendees using video chat stations.
For more information about ILTACON 2021, you can check out the FAQ here for general questions about the conference, here for an overview of the Agenda and here for the detailed session grid (subject to change, I’m sure).
I’m curious myself as to how ILTA plans to verify vaccination as there is no single source (like a nationwide database) to verify vaccination status. The only proof I know of is the vaccination record card that they give you (which is too big to easily fit in a wallet, BTW, so I took a picture of mine). And if you lose that, I’ve read that you can obtain proof from the place where you got the vaccine.
I guess I’ll find out as I plan to be there! I’ll be covering the event as press and also slated to moderate one of the sessions (more on that as we get closer). It will be good to see at least some of you in person once again!
As for most other organizations conducting a conference in 2021, it appears they will stick to a virtual conference once again. IPRO (an Educational Partner of eDiscovery Today) is one exception as they announced last month that their 2021 Tech Show will be an in-person event, September 21 through 23.
Others, like EDRM (a Foundational Partner of eDiscovery Today), have chosen to wait. “While we respect other organizations’ decisions, as stewards for EDRM, Kaylee [Walstad] and I have decided no live events until 2022, to allow those who wish to vaccinate, time to vaccinate. We will not encourage those who are not vaccinated to gather without masks. Full stop. We will not be the Angels of Death, and we will not be the vaccination police,” said Mary Mack, CEO and chief legal technologist at EDRM. Mike drop on that last line, Mary! 🙂
So, what do you think? Are you planning to attend ILTACON 2021? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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