A very special INTA meeting for WebTMS
There’s an air of excitement among the trade mark community that can mean only one thing: INTA is coming! More than 7000 trade mark professionals will be heading to Singapore for five days of learning, insight, and socialising from 16-20 May 2023.
Among the worldwide WebTMS team there is even more anticipation, because this year we are celebrating our 25th anniversary throughout the event at stand K08. We’re marking 25 years of developing trade mark portfolio management software that helps our customers be more effective and accurate – and enjoy their roles more along the way.
The INTA meeting has always been a huge part of our go-to-market strategy, so we caught up with the team attending this year to find out just what makes it so special, and their top tips for getting the most out of the event.
This will be the 24th INTA meeting for Rita O’kyere, WebTMS co-founder and Sales and Marketing Director. It’s the premier event in the calendar and work starts early, as she explains: “INTA is the largest IP conference we attend in the year. A great deal of effort is put into the preparation of this conference to attain the maximum impact in reaching potentials and clients alike. This starts some six months before the conference date.”
Over the years, Rita has seen the scale and location of the meeting change. Originally known as the United States Trademark Association (USTA) and held solely in the US, the organisers recognised an increasingly global audience and renamed as International Trade Mark Association (INTA). Now INTA is hosted outside of the US every three to four years, which has given attendees the opportunity to visit Hong Kong, Barcelona, Berlin and Toronto, among other international venues. The dress code has altered somewhat, too: “Sharp suits and pencil skirts have given way to a more relaxed look.”
That’s a bonus when it comes to one of the most important decisions to make when attending the event: footwear! Sales and Training Specialist Samantha Crellin attended her first INTA in 2022 and says: “The first thing I learnt was the importance of comfortable, roomy shoes, as you’re on your feet most of the day at the conference and then at the evening receptions. I saw a lot of people wearing trainers and I totally understand why now! I’m taking some adjustable shoes with me this time.”
Christinne Wiss, Support & Training Manager, agrees and adds: “Wear comfortable clothes and layers. It may be hot or cold outside but inside it may be the opposite. Much nicer to shed a cardigan or jacket, as you go from inside to outside than to be miserable all day.”
Christinne has seen INTA grow over the six conferences she has attended, with many more booths and the addition of more social events. She has got more involved with INTA recently: “I started serving on INTA’s Trademark Administrators Committee last year and have met some wonderful people I would not have met otherwise.”
A chance to connect with clients old and new
Naturally, a major benefit of INTA for WebTMS is the fact that it brings together so many potential users of our software all in one place, but it isn’t all about new sales, as Samantha explains: “Like any conference we attend, we’re not just there to meet new, potential clients. Although WebTMS clients have unlimited support via email and calls, IP Professionals are so busy during their day to day when in the office, that a conference is the only opportunity they have to focus on what it is they need support with. We’ll be on hand to provide advice on how to make the most of their WebTMS by demonstrating features they aren’t using, or showing new features. As well as sending them off with some goodies!”
Michael Ullman, Regional Manager, agrees that reconnecting with current clients is a highlight, as well as catching up with colleagues from around the world: “I enjoy seeing existing clients that I have become friends with over the years. I have made relationships with people all over the US, Canada, Australia, Mexico and even in the Middle East.” The social events add to the atmosphere: “We get to have more of a one-on-one talk and really get to know one another.”
Preparation and presence is key
Michael notes the importance of keeping energy high throughout the event: “Being at the stand always, ready to interact with clients, conduct a demo and being prepared is key, as you never know who will drop by and you don’t want to miss them when they do, as that can be the difference at times.”
And visitors to the WebTMS booth this year will be invited to join in with our anniversary celebrations. We’ll be holding a raffle for our clients, with great prizes for the lucky winners, and there’ll be birthday cupcakes for all to enjoy, as well as the now legendary WebTMS chocolates. Christinne reckons that these – along with lots of coffee and naps – are key to keeping energy levels up: “Eat chocolates by stopping by our booth – hurry, we run out fast!”
The whole team is looking forward to meeting friends and clients old and new to celebrate, as Samantha says: “It’ll be nice to celebrate as a long time WebTMS user, not just as an employee. It’s a great time to be at WebTMS!”