I suggest you start scheduling meetings about 2 months before the start of the Annual Meeting. If you leave it too late...
This was supposed to be part of my previous blog post (“Top 5 Ways To Get the Most Out of the INTA Annual Meeting”), but it ended up becoming too long, so I decided to write a separate post just on this.
Just to recap (in case you didn’t read my previous post), INTA is all about the meetings. I usually schedule 50+ meetings over the course of the INTA week, and this strategy has served me well.
I’m sure there are many other excellent ways to go about setting up a full schedule of meetings that promise a high expected return on your INTA investment, but here’s how I recommend you do it:
Determine your goal first. One year, for example, I wanted to meet lots of Japanese attorneys, because my firm had lots of work to send to Japan, and we weren’t getting much work back from Japanese firms that we were working with. So my idea was to find some Japanese attorneys that were open to the idea of establishing reciprocal relationships. Of course, I didn’t only meet Japanese attorneys, but it was part of my strategy for the INTA Annual Meeting that year.
Data makes the world go round. Data is the new kimchi. Everybody is using data, and so should you! You can use data to find the most valuable meeting prospects. Apologies for the shameless plug, but this happens to be my business… WeCrest created a free tool specifically for attendees of the INTA 2022 Annual Meeting. You can use this tool to generate a list of the top 20 law firms with the most Madrid cases in the jurisdiction that you practice in. And Voilà, you have used data to determine your most valuable meeting prospects. Now email them all to set up meetings at INTA in Washington, D.C.!
I suggest you start scheduling meetings about 2 months before the start of the Annual Meeting. If you leave it too late, many of the people you contact will already have full schedules and turn down a meeting with you. Don’t be shy with your reminders. I would send two or three reminders, 4-5 days apart, and then keep moving down your list of meeting prospects.
This may be a controversial one, but I always prefer a casual approach when emailing meeting prospects. I try to come up with an email template, which is a little different from what most people will be sending. I don’t see the point in including a lengthy introduction of my firm, because you’ll have plenty of time to talk about that when you actually meet. Also, let’s face it - IP law firms all have fairly similar profiles anyway. They all do prosecution work and some do litigation. The big firms are great because they’re big and can meet all your staffing requirements, and the small firms are great because they’re small and lean and have a personal touch. Old firms are great because they have experience and tradition, young firms are great because they are modern and innovative. What really matters is the impression you make during your meeting. Keep it casual and simple, without being too “creative” or pretentious. Why not suggest having a chat over a cup of coffee? These days, when everyone is trying too hard, simplicity can actually make you stand out from the crowd.
Calendly allows you to set up a schedule of available meeting time slots, and others can then very conveniently schedule meetings with you, selecting from your available slots. Occasionally you’ll still have to schedule meetings manually, but overall, most IP attorneys know how Calendly works and you will save yourself a lot of back and forth trying to find a time slot that works for both parties.
I usually try to have about 8-10 per day, including lunch and dinner appointments. I usually go light on the Thursday and Friday before INTA officially starts (mainly out of necessity, because many attendees haven’t arrived yet). I usually also avoid having too many meetings on the Wednesday, which is the final day of the Annual Meeting, because I know I’ll be spent by then and so will most others.
Try to schedule all of your meetings in the “Hospitality Area” of the convention center. At INTA there are usually a few designated and clearly-marked “meeting points”, for example “Meeting Point 1” and “Meeting Point 2”. Arrange to meet at one of those and then proceed to one of the many round tables in the Hospitality Area that are set up specifically for these kinds of networking meetings. Some people will try to get you to come to their hotel for a meeting. Unless they’re an important client of yours or a high-value prospect, I would do my best to avoid such situations, because you’ll waste a lot of time traveling to and from meetings. I like meeting at the convention center because it’s “neutral territory”, and even if I were an in-house counsel at a Fortune 500 company, I would still have my meetings at the convention center, out of respect for my meeting counterparts.
As an INTA member and attendee of the INTA Annual Meeting, you will have access to both of these valuable resources. The INTA attendee list tells you who is attending, and the member directory contains the email addresses of most of the attendees. Please make sure that you adhere to INTA’s Member Directory Information Usage Policy.
I really hope these tips help you to set up a productive meeting schedule at the INTA Annual Meeting.
If you haven’t already, please check out my previous blog posts on the “Top 5 Reasons To Attend the INTA Annual Meeting” and the “Top 5 Ways To Get the Most Out of the INTA Annual Meeting”.
If you are looking for data to help you fill your 50+ INTA meetings, WeCrest has created a free tool specifically for attendees of the INTA 2022 Annual Meeting. You can use this tool to generate a list of the top 20 law firms with the most Madrid cases in the jurisdiction that you practice in, all of which would be high-value potential clients for you.
And if you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line using our contact form. Good luck!
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By mastering the art of networking and leveraging data-driven tools and resources, you can make the most of your investment at the AIPPI World Congress.
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