Will you attend INTA?
Then I can very likely predict how INTA will be for you.
You will sacrifice 4 working days and also one weekend of your family’s time.
There are lots of speakers and round table gatherings. Those luncheon table gatherings that you wanted to attend, especially those about 3D-printing, have been full. It does not matter, as nothing can be done against 3D-printing copy cats. This is why you signed up for some other topic, but you have already forgotten which one.
After arrival, you figure out a rough schedule.
Then you look for people that you have met at other INTA meetings before. If you are an experienced INTA goer, you have arranged meetings with associates with whom you have already exchanged work. You want to meet with them one-on-one because you would like to check whether everything is alright. Or you have work for a new country and you would like to meet an IP lawyer from that country, just to check whether he is reasonable.
That is what conventions such as INTA are for.
Then you attend a speech. But it is boring. You attend another speech. While not listening, you have a couple of ideas for other areas. You attend the luncheon round table meeting, and you hear something interesting. It is about the proper wording of lists of goods and services in Bhutan. But you don’t like the lunch served.
You avoid the speed networking event.
After two speeches in the morning, the luncheon table meeting and one speech in the afternoon, you have had enough. You go for dinner with a friend. And after that, you two check out one of the many receptions. At the reception, you exchange a few business cards with people that you did not know before. You stuff their business cards into the pocket of your name badge.
Then maybe it’s off to a bar or to the convention watering hole, if you find it.
On day two and three of INTA, the same, but without attending a speech or a luncheon table meeting. You check out the exhibition hall, but you don’t need a new office software or a new case law database.
You carefully avoid the speed networking events again.
For the rest of the convention, you hang around in the waiting area in front of the auditorium, hoping to meet someone for chit-chatting. It turns out that you found someone to do a deal with. INTA was ultimately worth it.
On Wednesday you fly back home at 5pm, as your hotel has given you a late check-out. You have decided to give the gala dinner a pass because this would cost you another working day.
On arrival at home, you find out that you have forgotten your name badge in the hotel room. It contains the 35 name cards of the people that you have met during the convention.
Was my guess correct? If yes, then only because I went through the same thing. Many times.
If this is also what you expect from your INTA 2016, there is still time to change it.
I did change it.