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Ahead of the International Trademark Association’s annual meeting in Orlando, Steve Coates of Twitter gives his five tips for success at the conference.
1) Embrace your inner rock star
Where else are you going to have thousands of people wanting to meet you? Resist the urge to turn that badge around and going incognito. Become an extrovert. Jump to the front of the taxi line and ask that attorney in the suit if you can share the cab to the convention centre. They won’t say no when you hand them a card.
Accept those free drink and lunch offers—I haven’t had an expense claim for INTA in years. In all seriousness, I’ve made some of my closest personal and professional relationships at INTA. Now put a blazer over your Rolling Stones T-shirt and strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. You just might have the same experience.
This is important for rock stars, and I’m not just talking about all that alcohol you are pounding. You are stuck all day in dehydration chambers that are called conference rooms, and all that talking dries the throat. You need to preserve that voice. Always have a bottle of water on hand.
3) Every rock star needs to give back
You might not want another law firm key chain, but outside counsel love swag. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be a sticker, T-shirt or hat. Make sure it has a logo on it and extra points if it can open a bottle of beer. They work hard to protect your brand and are proud to wear the logo that they are so invested in.
4) Create a backstage pass
There are always more people who you need to meet than you have time for. For casual meetings, offer to meet large groups of people at the hotel bar late at night. That way you can grab five to ten minutes with each person for a personal encounter that you might not otherwise have.
5) Dress like a rock star
Everyone expects you to personify your day job. If you work at a luxury brand, you’d better have the handbag. Tech attorneys sport casual looks. Sports league attorneys: don’t be afraid to wear a jersey. If you are on social media, expect lots of tweets with familiar faces (hint: #INTA16).
Steve Coates is associate director for trademarks at Twitter. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Images: Vectomart, Tarasyuk Igor, marekuliasz, Andrey_Popov and baranq. All sourced via Shutterstock.com)
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