Saturday at INTA 2024: Client meetings, strategy honing, and INTA first-timers
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Saturday at INTA 2024: Client meetings, strategy honing, and INTA first-timers

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Managing IP’s senior reporter Rani Mehta interviewed attendees at the INTA Annual Meeting in Atlanta about how they made the most out of their first day

Yesterday, May 18 marked the first day of INTA's 2024 Annual Meeting.

Managing IP is on the ground this week at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. We'll be covering panels, receptions, and other events in and around the conference.

The bulk of panel sessions and meetings officially start today, Sunday, May 19.

But there was still plenty to do for intellectual property professionals and delegates yesterday.

INTA kept busy, hosting several events tailored towards certain attendees.

There was a career development day workshop, designed to give students hands-on training and career insights, as well as an anti-counterfeiting workshop. The latter was only open to in-house practitioners and government officials, however.

First-time INTA attendees were also invited to an orientation and reception, focused on what they need to know about the event and how to meet others attending for the first time.

But there was also a lot going on outside scheduled programming.

A large part of this, of course, is business development and client meetings.

Managing IP caught up with a few lawyers about what they were up to and how they planned to make the most from their trip.

Meetings galore

Unsurprisingly, many attendees reported already being busy with meetings.

Shirley Lin, partner at HongFangLaw in China, said she was due to attend a meeting with a Mexican firm – the first time her firm was meeting with them.

She added that she was also spending Saturday getting familiar with the convention centre and potentially arranging some additional meetings.

Dharti Shah, an attorney with Verite Associates in India, said she also had a lot of meetings.

"I'm trying to network with people so we can have a long-term relationship. I'm here to build a good network over tea, coffee, and food," she said, adding that she was also planning on attending reception parties.

She added that she hoped to connect and build relationships with foreign firms so she could introduce her clients to some of those practitioners.

"At the conference, I'm hoping to make friends and good memories that I can cherish and come again next year."

Strategy honing

Some meetings present particularly valuable opportunities for counsel.

Fernando Becerril, partner at Romo & Becerril in Mexico, said he had a dinner planned with one of the firm’s top clients.

"It will be a very interesting dinner. It will be very nice to make some acquaintance with them. I'm new at the firm and haven't had a chance to meet all our clients in person, so for me, it's very exciting to put the faces to the names now that I've joined this new firm."

Becerril joined his firm, which previously went by the name Romo De Vivar, a few months ago. The firm has now rebranded to include his name.

Such meetings can be useful for in-house counsel too.

Mark Leonard, general counsel at dried fruits company Sunsweet Growers in California, said he was busy meeting several overseas counsel and potential vendors on Saturday.

"I have found that the level of service increases from my foreign associates after I meet with them in person," he noted.

Yesterday was also a good day for internal meetings at firms.

Adam Aft, partner at Baker McKenzie in Chicago, said the firm's entire global team met on Saturday.

"We wanted to align with what we're doing with the practice and the technology. It's always a great opportunity to see colleagues at meetings like this. It helps us stitch together our global relationships," he said. "It's fun to catch up with them."

Atlanta attractions

Some attendees are also hoping to spend some time exploring Atlanta's attractions.

Becerril at Romo & Becerril said he has heard good things about the Georgia Aquarium. "As far as I understand, it's a must," he said.

Of course, from a brand perspective, there is perhaps no more famous a name than Coca-Cola. The soft drink was invented in Atlanta in the late nineteenth century.

Becerril added that he had been to the World of Coca-Cola – Coca-Cola's museum – on a previous trip and is hoping to go back.

"I've been a Coca-Cola fan since I was a child, so I would love to go to the museum," he said.

Looking ahead

Managing IP's coverage of INTA continues later today.

The INTA Annual Meeting runs from May 18 to 23 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

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