The all-virtual 2020 Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting in November looks a lot like past in-person meetings in many ways, but it also highlights new features that reflect the event’s new, innovative format. With general registration opening on July 13, now is a good time to check out both the new virtual platform and the educational and networking schedule.
“One of the most exciting elements is that registrants can really maximize their participation in educational opportunities,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “You have the flexibility to concentrate on the educational aspect of the Meeting since you can ‘attend’ live sessions or watch them on demand, whichever best fits your personal schedule.”
The ability to take advantage of on-demand sessions—which will be available through January 10, 2021—takes on increased relevance given the breadth and value of educational offerings. The registration fee covers all activities.
Among the new features, for the first time, the Meeting’s educational program is built around 12 thematic tracks. While registrants are welcome to pick and choose educational sessions, INTA is rolling out the programming tracks to help guide registrants to sessions that meet their specific interests and needs.
Some of the tracks cover familiar topics such as anticounterfeiting and brand protection, regulatory issues, and professional development. Others speak to the times and look to the future, bringing registrants together to discuss “Innovation and the Future of IP,” “Managing Your Brand in Times of Crisis,” “Diversity and Inclusion,” and “Brand Commercialization/Brand Value,” among other pertinent issues.
For Diane Lau, Lead Trademark Paralegal at Facebook Inc. (USA), “I’m very much looking forward to the cutting-edge and timely discussions around business continuity, online presence, and how brands are interacting with consumers—all of which are topics that are top of mind for all brand professionals during these extraordinary times.”
Notably, INTA will offer a track in Mandarin that will focus on developing issues in China, such as artificial intelligence, big data, trademark infringement in parallel imports, and trends in IPR enforcement in the country. The Mandarin-language track will take place on November 18 in the China/Singapore time zone (GMT +8:00).
In addition to the usual panel sessions, the educational program will feature daily capsule keynote presentations, town hall meetings, and workshops. On tap are the Meeting’s historically popular workshops such as the Anticounterfeiting Workshop, In-House Practitioner’s Workshop, and Intellectual Property Office Workshop, as well as a new Trademark Administrators Workshop and a first-time workshop on INTA’s The Women in LeadershIP Initiative. In keeping with the all-inclusive registration fee, there are no additional fees for workshops this year.
On the networking front, Speed Networking, corporate meetups, and a range of social networking activities will round out the daily schedule.
Heike Bhonsle, Brand Protection Director, Global IP at Crocs, Inc. (USA), is excited about planning her own agenda this year. “We are all too familiar with running from one counsel/client meeting to another, trying to find a cab in a crazy busy town in order to make it to the next meeting,” she recalls. “This won’t have to be the case, as there won’t be the need to schedule your meetings during the same time as the programming. I, for my part, am looking forward to finally have the time to enjoy the sessions.”
Scott MacKendrick, a Partner at Bereskin & Parr (Canada), echoes that sentiment. “The virtual format will allow for more flexibility, including being able to access content at a time that works for you in your time zone,” he says. “Embracing change —it’s what this Meeting is about.”
The virtual event platform will open on November 9, so that registrants can arrive early, familiarize themselves with the platform, network, and conduct business. Corporate meetings with external counsel will take place November 9, 10, and 11; committee meetings occur November 10?13; and Leadership Meeting sessions are on November 13. The Annual Meeting runs through the following week, from November 16 through 20.
Source: International Trademark Association