The International Trademark Association (INTA) has taken advantage of the difficulties posed by 2020 to promote its digital strategy, which includes the new website, now online but with new features on the way, and the virtual version of the Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting 2020, which expands on what was done during the virtual meeting in New York, held in late June.

Etienne Sanz de Acedo, CEO of INTA, staged a conference in Town Hall via Zoom with specialized media, among which Brands+ was present, to discuss the news of the association’s digital transformation.

Regarding the new website, Sanz de Acedo said that its renewal was “something we wanted to do for a long time, but it is a long process.” The executive assured that what is available to users today is phase 1 of the site, with news and improvements to the user experience coming in future stages.

The website arrived with a renewed INTA newsletter, incorporated into the website and which will become a weekly application. Improving the search engine is another of the highlights of the update, since it makes the web a much more useful and powerful tool.

Regarding the annual meeting, to be held in November, INTA has an attractive schedule prepared, which is based on the positive feedback received after its experience at the virtual meeting in June.

“[The New York virtual meeting experience] was tremendously successful, beyond our expectations, with 250 participants in total,” said Sanz de Acedo. “Networking worked very well. People wanted to continue in the meetings”.

One of the ideas that emerged from what INTA discovered during that experience will be the format of table topics: “We have positioned table topics as a networking opportunity. We are going to have a total of 50 table topics moderated by corporate members: they will present the topic and then open it to discussion between participants. Corporate members have been very interested in participating,” explained the CEO of INTA.

At the same time, INTA will promote networking with the use of Artificial Intelligence to facilitate one-on-one meetings: «The AI will look for people with similar preferences and they will be able to coordinate one-on-one meetings; first contact by mail and then face to face».

Social sessions are now in progress, now virtual, with events such as a wine tasting. INTA also offers its support to any law firm or company that wants to virtually replicate its traditional receptions.

The virtual exhibition hall, meanwhile, allows visitors to enter the booth of each company where they can see their offer, their website and have the possibility of scheduling a meeting, among other elements.

The Annual Meeting will have 12 thematic paths for the participants, including areas such as contraband and enforcement, brand management in times of crisis and soft-skils, to name a few. The association will also continue with workshops, such as those carried out on the subject of counterfeiting.

All sessions will be carried out with on-screen speakers and, according to Sanz de Acedo, they have sponsorship opportunities. The participants of the Annual Meeting 2020 will be able to access the content live or do it on demand, where it will be available, at least, until the end of the year.

Sanz de Acedo was very positive about the call that the event will achieve: “I have spoken with more than 50 corporations and 95% have shown interest in participating in meetings and organizing table topics and other types of actions,” he said. “These corporations also assured me that they will be bringing the same number of people who have attended past events, if not more, taking advantage of the price reduction we have established.”

INTA members can access the ten days of the event by paying $ 850, while non-members must pay $ 1,450. Online registration begins July 13 and the early bird – at $ 750 or $ 1,250 – will be available until August 21.

INTA also provides an extra benefit for the first 1,500 registered: priority access to the registration and hotels of the event in 2021.

On the future, Sanz de Acedo trusted that it will return to a face-to-face system, but assured that virtuality is also here to stay: «Nothing is going to replace meeting in person, but that cannot happen this year. If you ask me how I view an Annual Meeting in the future: 80% in person and 20% virtual. This technology is here to stay and people who cannot attend the meetings can take advantage of this opportunity. We are going to use this technology in the future and we plan to have 100% virtual sessions in the future ”.

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