The International Trademark Association has announced that its annual meeting will be carried out virtually in 2021 as the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic continue.
The association had previously unveiled plans to host an in-person meeting in Houston, Texas, on November 15–19.
In an announcement released yesterday, April 28, INTA’s chief executive Etienne Sanz de Acedo confirmed that the association had made the decision in response to ongoing concerns presented by COVID-19 because of too “many unknowns”.
He said: “While some countries fortunately are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, others unfortunately are in a mounting crisis. The status of the pandemic, vaccine administration, quarantine requirements, government and company travel restrictions, etc, are continually shifting, creating too many unknowns to plan a large-scale, in-person event for November.”
The statement added that in these uncertain times, one of the organisation’s greatest strengths is being realistic and flexible.
“After much reflection, research, and consultation with the INTA officers and the board of directors, it had decided that a virtual meeting would be more appropriate at this present time,” said Sanz de Acedo.
“In making this change, we, as always, have considered as the highest priority the health and safety of our registrants, sponsors, staff, and others,” he added.
All education sessions, business development opportunities, and committee meetings will occur on INTA’s virtual platform during the meeting but the association confirmed that it would be hosting in-person one-day events in selected cities.
“With the “Virtual +” format, we will be providing high-quality educational content, dynamic business development sessions, and social activities on a virtual platform which, as proven by our past events, are very conducive to gathering for learning and networking,” said Sanz de Acedo.
The association added that with its “plus element”, it had the flexibility to add smaller in-person events such as discussion forums, receptions where appropriate from safety and logistical standpoints. It confirmed that more details would be forthcoming as it continued to monitor conditions around the world.
“With this approach, we will achieve the desired objective—to still come together as a community, but in the safest, most sensitive, and most prudent way given the unsettling circumstances,” concluded Sanz de Acedo.
The ‘virtual +’ annual meeting will be held on November 15–19, 2021.
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