SEATTLE – The Washington State Convention Center arch will be awash in orange as the center prepares to serve as the epicenter for the 140th International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting May 19-23. The five-day event is among the top five largest conferences in Seattle this year and is expected to produce an estimated $20 million in economic impact to the city’s restaurants and bars, hotels and retail and cultural locations.
With more than 10,700 registered intellectual property (IP) professionals, brand owners and lawyers from 150 countries in attendance, the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) 2018 Annual Meeting is the world’s largest and most-widely attended trademark event. The conference provides educational sessions on best practices in trademarks and related IP, and updates on trend analysis about the state of trademark rights worldwide across every industry, as well as numerous networking events and a sprawling exhibition hall.
In addition to the conference, many companies, firms and smaller professional trade organizations will host meetings, events and activities at city’s most popular hotels, restaurants and cultural destinations. It is estimated that nearly 300 of these events will occur before, during and after the conference.
The conference was secured nine years ago by the Meetings and Conventions Sales team at Visit Seattle, the city’s official destination marketing organization. Annually, meetings and conventions business contribute $630 million in economic impact to the city.
“Meetings and conventions are a large part of what Visit Seattle helps bring to the city in terms of economic impact,” Senior Vice President of Convention Sales & Services Rob Hampton said. “We are proud to be the host city for INTA’s Annual Meeting as we know Seattle will welcome them and secondly, because entrepreneurship and innovation thrive here, the city will provide an environment rich for building and shaping ideas on global trademark policy for the future.”
While in Seattle, INTA is encouraging its members to contribute to two local philanthropies. Registrants will be able to make onsite donations of gently worn professional women’s clothing for Dress for Success Seattle, whose mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to all women to thrive in the work place. As part of the registration process attendees also donated to the Pike Place Market Foundation which provides grants for housing, healthcare, healthy food, child care and community support to residents of the greater Seattle community in need.
Visit Seattle Convention Services Manager Suzanne Allbee assisted INTA organizers and leaders in determining foundations that represented the mission and values of their membership.
“INTA is an incredible organization, which strives to give back to communities in the cities they gather in and we are grateful for their positive contribution to Seattle,” Allbee said.
“We are truly pleased to host our Annual Meeting in Seattle as it epitomizes a city that houses companies in all stages of growth, from entrepreneurs to iconic brands,” INTA President Tish Berard said. “Through our corporate social responsibility initiatives with Dress for Success Seattle and The Pike Place Market Foundation, we hope to show our appreciation for the remarkable support and hospitality shown to us.
On May 22, Seattle’s famous music scene will also be on display, as 20, live musical performances will take place throughout the Pike-Pine Street corridor in Downtown. Local musicians will perform from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and again from 4-6 p.m. at a variety of businesses and parks along the two streets. Visit Seattle and the Seattle Music Commission partnered with Gigs4U, an organization dedicated to connecting local musicians with paid performances, for this initiative to welcome INTA’s membership and give them a taste of the city’s vibrant music culture during the conference.
Many Annual Meeting registrants have also made arrangements to arrive early or extend their stay for additional business or leisure travel, furthering the economic impact of the conference, Berard said.
Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development. Nearly 40 million annual visitors spend $7.4 billion in the city and county each year. The economic power of travel and tourism generates more than 76,000 Seattle area jobs and contributes $762 million in annual state and local tax revenue. Go to www.visitseattle.org.
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation. Members include more than 7,200 trademark owners, professionals, and academics from 191 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and New Delhi. For more information, please visit www.inta.org.