28.04.15 00:45 Age: 3 yrs
11 Tips for INTA Success
By: Edward Lehman, Managing Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu
I attended my first International Trademarks Association (INTA) conference in 1974. Well, it was the “USTA” then, I was attending the conference with my parents, a self-entitled, narcissistic teenager. My father was an intellectual property lawyer at the time. The conference of about 225 IP professionals was held around a pool.
As the INTA approaches, held in San Diego, California this year, I look back and I guess I can call myself an “old-timer.” Having attended the conference for years, I’ve learned a few things which I am happy to share. Consider these my personal tips for success at INTA. You just may find something here that also applies to your broader career.
1. Everyone can succeed: With over 9,000 attendees and a variety of events, there’s a risk to be overwhelmed. Take an organized and thoughtful approach to the conference; plan your time and identify which events you would like to participate in. The event is an excellent opportunity to meet like minded people with similar experience and interests, as well as to learn something new. By managing your time well and “Running your own race,” you can maximize the benefits the conference offers.
2. Follow the Ribbons: As you may know event organizers and committee members are marked with ribbons hanging on their nametag. Identify and engage with these people. They will be connected and knowledgeable. Consider joining a committee. There will be a time commitment, but there will also be additional opportunities and professional exposure.
3. Focus on Sustainable Relationships: One could spend all day meeting people, talking briefly, and then never think of those people again. A better alternative is to identify and spend time with a few individuals with whom you are able to build a sustainable professional relationship with.
4. Professional Presentation: INTA is a gathering of professionals. Those who demonstrate respect for their colleagues and respect for themselves by maintaining professional presentation and demeanor will find others afford them greater respect in return.
5. Sweat the Small Stuff: Conference attendees are provided a lanyard and nametag, however, one size does not fit all. Make sure your name is clearly readable, not a distraction. Ideally your name should be under your left shoulder. Use a clip if necessary. Remember to bring enough name cards with you, and to make eye contact with those you are speaking with. Prepare a short “elevator talk” to introduce yourself in those quiet moments.
6. Be 15 minutes early, or you are 15 minutes late: When attending a Table Talk, or a speaker, arrive early. Often the presenter will be alone in the room preparing. Use this time to introduce yourself and express your interest in the subject. This will likely be your only opportunity for a one-on-one with that person. After the presentation, there will be a long line waiting to speak with them. That is, if the speaker doesn’t dash out of room as quickly as possible.
7. Rely on your own merits: It may be tempting to point out to potential clients or partners the faults of your competition. However, lasting success cannot be achieved by relying on the failings of others. Instead, focus on conveying the strengths and successes of yourself and your firm and let those speak for you.
8. Get Oriented: if this is your first time to attend the INTA, be sure to stop by the First-Time Annual Meeting Registrant Orientation & Networking on Saturday. This is a great way to get your bearings at the start of the conference. It also provides a valuable opportunity for introductions to others who are sharing a first time experience.
9. Download the App! Get Connected: Visit the INTA website http://www.inta.org/ to download the INTA app. Use the app to assist in planning your time, look up schedules and speakers. Consider having a messaging app (such as Whatsapp) on hand. Use this as a convenient tool to establish immediate contact with new professional connections.
10. Get your CLE Credits: Many lectures at the conference offer CLE credits. Check with your local Bar Association as to how to have these credits recognized. Review the available lectures and attend those that interest you. Getting your CLE credits couldn’t be easier! You’ll have an excellent networking opportunity in the process!
11. Relax over a glass of wine: There will be plenty of opportunities at the event to share a select beverage with a colleague or new friend. However, remember conference attendees are expecting professionalism. You won’t impress that potential new client by out drinking them! You won’t maximize your time at the event if you are hangover or groggy during the next day’s event. “Alcohol is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.”
I hope you’ve found one or two nuggets of wisdom here. As an “old-timer” I am always happy to help those who are seeking their own success. As a China legal professional for over 28 years and the first foreign lawyer to work in a Chinese law firm, I have seen first hand the growth and changes in China’s intellectual property law and policies.
LEHMAN, LEE & XU maintains one of the strongest and most well respected practices in Intellectual Property law in China today. We are licensed to act as agents and lawyers for intellectual property matters, including prosecution, registration, and litigation in the People’s Courts, as well as judicial and administrative enforcement.
China has recently instituted a new intellectual property court and new intellectual property laws have been promulgated which are more positive for brand owners. To help educate foreign associates and brand owners we are hosting a series of intellectual property round tables during the INTA event. We look forward to the opportunity to meet you there.
Additionally, our law firm provides services in three other separate jurisdictions where we maintain offices, Mongolia, Hong Kong and Macau. It would be a genuine delight to speak with you at the Lehman, Lee & Xu booth (No. 1928) if you have time to stop by.
If you don’t have a chance to speak with me at the conference, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect on Linkedin. I am always interested in learning new things and in hearing new perspectives. I will be happy to share thoughts on INTA experiences or about the broader Intellectual Property profession internationally, and within my country of expertise, China.
our firm is pleased to offer INTA Annual Meeting attendees a unique opportunity to discuss the latest developments in Chinese intellectual property law and related issues in a series of round table discussions at our Booth (booth No. 1928) at the San Diego Convention Center from the afternoon of Sunday, May 3 to Tuesday, May 5, 2015.
Edward Lehman, Karen Lau, Grace Wang, Margaret Ma, Hester Qiu, Fleur Chen, Yolanda Li, Tina Dong, Vicky Li, Lillian Yang, Shunde Li, Mingde Li will be attending the INTA Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, USA (May 2nd – May 6th 2015).