INTA is coming…
It’s not long now until the biggest event on the trademark calendar kicks off in Boston, Massachusetts. The International Trademark Association (INTA) Annual General meeting takes place from 18-22 May and is the industry’s opportunity to get together to network, share insight and learn more about the quickly evolving business of intellectual property and brand management. Around 10,000 brand owners and IP professionals have registered and they’ll be looking forward to making the most of all the opportunities on offer.
At WebTMS INTA is a major highlight of the year and our team is looking forward to it. They are INTA veterans, with combined experience of a grand total of 39 meetings. As such they have the inside track on getting the most out of the conference. We got them together to find out their top tips for survival and success and we discovered that, for WebTMS, it’s the chance to meet people that really counts.
Rita O’Kyere (RO) – Director, Sales and Marketing. Number of INTA meetings attended: 22 (!)
Michael Ullman (MU) – Regional Sales Manager, Midwest/Western USA, Canada, Mexico, Australasia, Central/South Americas. Number of INTA meetings attended: 7
Richard Connor (RC) – Software Developer and Project Manager. Number of INTA meetings attended: 4
Christinne Wiss (CW) – Support and Training Manager. Number of INTA meetings attended: 4
What’s your role at the INTA Annual Meeting?
RO: I oversee our whole presence at the event.
MU: I’ll be exhibiting at the booth and introducing WebTMS to potential new clients. I’ll be greeting customers, informing new clients about our system, highlighting features and giving demonstrations. Also, seeing and catching up with existing clients, strengthening relationships, answering or troubleshooting questions or issues the clients may have.
RC: I will be at our WebTMS user workshops which takes place on Sunday 19th May, with Christinne and our director Andy, as well as answering any technical queries that visitors to the booth may have.
CW: I generally attend the workshops at the beginning of the conference and then meet with our clients and potential clients at the booth.
What do you think is the best and most valuable part of the event?
RO: Networking, meeting clients and showcasing new software features. For example, we have just signed a new strategic partnership with CompuMark that gives our customers access to 186 trademark databases, covering every jurisdiction worldwide – we’re looking forward to talking to clients about the benefits this will give them. Also, one of the most satisfying things for me is meeting with other company heads to discuss where the market is heading, what challenges we’re facing etc.
MU: It’s great to spend quality time with clients at our networking events – this year we’re hosting a reception at Bastille Kitchen on Monday 20th May. But also I really look forward to catching up with colleagues – we’re a global team so we don’t get to meet up that often and it’s always great when we do.
RC: Being able to meet with clients in person, either formally or informally, really helps us nurture meaningful relationships with them. It’s a great way to find out how they’re using our products and what features they’d like to see us develop next.
CW: Meeting our clients face to face and putting names with faces!
What are your top tips for getting the most out of the event?
RO: Self-care! Stay off the booze and greasy food and try to get plenty of rest!
MU: Be present & approachable to attendees passing by, then throw the charm out there to reel them in!
RC: Same thing my coach at Crossfit keeps telling me – Don’t sprint out of the gate or you’ll burn out before you’re halfway done!
CW: Visit the various booths to meet with and learn from the IP professionals that attend the meeting. It’s amazing the amount of information you can gather at INTA conferences.
What’s the best booth giveaway you’ve ever seen at INTA?
RO: Umbrellas! That particular year it did nothing but rain.
MU: In terms of a bigger business card draw giveaway, it was probably a new iPad. Otherwise, in terms of the smaller giveaways that everyone can have, a small briefcase which also included a universal charger for traveling, a planner folio, business card holder & pen all in one.
RC: The cowboy hats in Dallas a few years back were dope. I still have mine.
CW: I have to say I’m partial to our own giveaway last year when we handed out laptop camera blockers. I can comfortably do a WebEx meeting knowing no one can see when I’m having a messy hair day!
What sessions do you recommend/like the look of this year and why?
RO: Our timetable is always so tight that I won’t have time to attend any sessions other than our own!
MU: The Continental Breakfast sounds interesting! But seriously, probably the CSA23 Beyond the Trademark Portfolio: 360° Data Management at 1.30pm on Saturday 18th – it seems like a good fit for WebTMS to come up in discussion.
RC: I’d be interested in attending the sessions tackling counterfeiting in China – after a recent trip to Hong Kong the boldness and audacity of fake merchandise available in the street markets was very striking. (CSU01 Anticounterfeiting in China – Sunday 19th)
CW: Wow, there are so many great sessions but I’d have to say that I’m really interested in both the Trademark Administrators Idea Exchange and Best Practices (CSA50 Trademark Administrators Idea Exchange and Best Practices 3pm – Saturday 18th) and the International Trademark law course. I love meeting with Trademark Administrators and hearing about best practices and new ideas on how to deal with some of the more complex aspects of Trademark Administration. Of course, I always love learning new things so both appeal to me.
The WebTMS team, including our four panellists, will be at booths #719 and #721 throughout the INTA Annual Meeting. We’re also holding workshop sessions on Sunday 19th May at the Westin Boston Waterfront from 10am-4pm and a networking drinks reception at Bastille Kitchen from 6pm-8pm on Monday 20th May. If you’d like to join us at either event please click here for full details.