The International Trademark Association (INTA) has announced that its 2020 Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting in November will now be an all-virtual event, in response to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, INTA announced that it would hold a first-ever combined Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting on 16–20 November in Houston, Texas, but that it would continue monitoring the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to determine the viability of an in-person event. The original 2020 Annual Meeting in Singapore, which would have taken place in April 2020, had already been postponed.
Despite the shift to the virtual format, the Annual Meeting will still take place on 16–20 November, with committee meetings and Leadership Meeting sessions for INTA volunteers scheduled for the prior week (11–13 November). Registration for the event will now open in early July.
“Cancelling the Annual Meeting has not been an option for us,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “While the path here has come with a heavy heart, we believe this forward-looking approach is the safest option right now and keeps registrants’ best interests in mind. Moreover, we are excited about the prospect of not only bringing our community together again, but doing so in a new and innovative way, on a secure and engaging platform.
“What is clear is that we remain intent on prioritizing the health and safety of our members, staff, sponsors, exhibitors, and the community. As well, we are extremely cognizant of our members’ budget and travel restraints and concerns, among other factors.”
The virtual meeting will, according to INTA, include live, simulated-live, and on-demand educational sessions, multiple networking opportunities, and an interactive Exhibit Hall.
Mr. Sanz de Acedo added that the new format “aligns with INTA’s digital transformation and pioneers a future that incorporates virtual offerings into our in-person events.”