The challenges of the most prominent IP congress in Latin America
With just under two months left until ABPI’s 42nd International Congress on Intellectual Property, to be held on August 22nd and 23rd at the Sheraton WTC Hotel in São Paulo, preparations are advanced. It is the most prominent and relevant Intellectual Property event in Latin America.
In this edition, ABPI’s Congress has a new look, as announced by Erika Diniz Silla, the executive director of ABPI, who has coordinated the event production for at least 13 editions. In 2020 and 2021, at the height of the pandemic, the event was already breaking paradigms, being held 100% virtual. It was an entirely new scenario. Technology was the mainspring of the production of the event with the advent of online rooms and high virtual interactivity. This year, there are new changes. The Congress will last two days and in a hybrid format, with participants choosing between attending online or in-person. “The hybrid format is here to stay”, says Erika.
There are many challenges in organizing a Congress of this magnitude. For in-person attendance, health measures must be taken to deal with the pandemic, which persists. From an operational point of view, there are sensitive measures, whether in terms of choosing the venue for the event, as well as logistics and transportation for attendees and guests. The sustainability issue also requires particular care, such as the use of recyclable materials use and disposal, to name a few examples. Besides, there are publicity measures, the catering service, and a myriad of details that can cause some sleepless nights for the organizers.
It is up to the Organizing Committee, headed by Gabriel Leonardos, the President of ABPI, to discuss many of these items. To this end, the Committee meets twice a month, and in the months surrounding the event, it promotes up to four monthly meetings. One of the most important guidelines is the choice of topics and guest speakers, which is the responsibility of the Scientific Committee, coordinated by Filipe Fonteles Cabral, a member of ABPI’s Council. This year, ABPI surveyed its members to choose the topics to be discussed at the annual Congress.
Digital interactivity is a recent phenomenon regarding events, but it has been imposing itself as a necessary form of communication. In the two years held 100% virtually, ABPI’s Congress almost doubled its audience, surpassing the mark of 1,200 registrations. The attendance of foreigners also increased and reached more than a hundred from 30 countries.
Technology remains particularly relevant, especially in a hybrid event. Real-time streaming requires state-of-the-art digital tools to avoid interruptions caused by technical breakdowns. The biggest challenge? “It is about making a quality event, with more participants, satisfying attendees, and bringing more members to ABPI”, completes Erika, who is managing a team of about 200 people because of the event, including the internal staff and service providers. “Our goal is to make an online event with as much interaction as possible,” she states.