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As CEO of Netlaw Media, I made a mistake and I have seen the error of my ways (but there is some very good news)

21st Feb, 2018 / Netlaw Media

As many know, Netlaw Media has been responsible for staging the largest legal technology event in Europe for many years and with ‘The British Legal Technology Forum’ the undisputed heavyweight of legal IT events, I recently made a mistake with calculations and I am here to admit it..

With the upcoming British Legal Technology Forum being staged on Tuesday 13th March, the event posted full capacity weeks in advance (as it has done for 4 years in succession), however following conversations with many sponsors and regular visitors who pointed out that the event wasn’t complete without an official after-party, we got together with a number of like-minded individuals and it was suggested that we hire a private boat and throw the after-party to end all after-parties.

Now to understand my thoughts in regards to boats and parties, for thou’s who don’t know, I am an Aussie for one, I grew up sailing on Sydney Harbour for two and more times than not, I’m the last one to leave the dance floor. So it was only natural that the idea of several hundred very happy sailors clinking glasses of amber liquid whilst boogying the night away to the tunes of my upbringing was (you could say), a little on the attractive side. With this, the idea quickly became reality, however, this is where my calculations went south with the tide.

With the prospect of 1,300 visitors, 420 sponsors, 50 speakers and 12 advisory panel members attending ‘The British Legal Technology Forum’, my eager event operations team searched long and hard for the largest party boat on the Thames, a vessel that would not only allow our gleeful guests to board within 3 minutes walk of the event venue, but one that would offer the opportunity to continue celebrating what is the jewel in the legal it event calendar. Sounds good so far, but I will hold my hands up to my mistake.

You see, I have been doing major events for many years and understand that following a long day, many simply want to go home to their loved ones, to rest their feet in front of the TV whilst reflecting on the information and wonderful new solutions which had been presented only hours before. Realising this, I signed the contact for our floating vessel of fun to accommodate 370 guests and away we went without giving a thought to a very small issue called ‘over-subscription’.

Within minutes of announcing the official after-party, applications began rolling in. Firstly 10, then 20, 50, 100, 200, ‘400 applications for tickets in one week’ my worried operations executive proclaimed as she entered my office. ‘ok we have an issue’ was my reply, and in the blink of an eye came the answer, ‘we now need to limit the amount of passes per sponsor and hold a lottery as to which delegates receive passes’. As simple and as fair as this seemed, I was content with my decision and thought nothing more of it until the clock struck 9am the following morning (and I heard the number which changed the rest of my day) – ‘500’ – was all I heard as I sipped my cup of Columbian gold. ‘500 what’ I replied, ‘we now have 500 applications for tickets and they keep coming’ announced my over-excited executive.

Now, I have never in my life proclaimed to be Einstein, but a quick scratch of the chin whilst looking blankly into my monitor was enough for me to mutter 5 famous words that have sent chills down the spines of many before me, ‘Houston, we have a problem’ and this was a big one. What do we do? how do we get everyone on board?. The answer was simple, we leave none of our guests as dry as the rottenest of martinis and WE FIND THE 2ND LARGEST PARTY BOAT IN THE FLEET, HIRE BOTH BOATS AND PARTY LIKE IT’S 1969 !!!

And that’s what we did….

So my good ladies and gents, it is with pleasure that I hereby announce that due to the request of hundreds, Netlaw Media has now officially hired 2 of the largest party boats on the Thames to throw ‘The Official British Legal Technology Forum 2018 After-Party’ immediately following Europe’s Largest Legal IT Event where drinks and great tunes will flow like the Thames.

We are now in the process of contacting all our sponsors, speakers and delegates with additional passes to the after-party and we look forward to saying ‘Hello Sailor’ to 600 party people.

Oh and back to the error, I am only human (but I do love a great party) !

D. Armstrong


Netlaw Media

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