At the end of January, IP Out held its first social event of 2018. Darren Smyth, IP Inclusive taskforce member, IP Out Committee member, and Partner at EIP, writes about the event and encourages everyone to attend IP Out events in the future. EIP are one of our Charter signatories.
(This article first appeared on Darren’s own blog: The IP Alchemist and is reproduced here with Darren’s permission).
Darren writes: “I really did not think I would be writing an event report of an event that had no speakers, but actually quite a lot happened at the IP Out drinks on 30th January, and so I wanted to record a few thoughts.
It’s been less than 18 months since our first event, and we are already on our fifth. Feedback from attendees from questionnaires at our previous events continued to show support for the idea of a “social only” event, without any speakers or particular topic. So this time, for the first time, we held an event in a bar, rather than in the offices of a law firm, where all our previous events have taken place. We went for the New Bloomsbury Set, who gave us our own area and treated us very well. Since the organisation required for social drinks is much lower than for a speaker event, I am wondering whether we could make this a regular event on a fixed timetable. If we had it say every month, for example, would people want to come at that frequency?
Numbers were lower than at the more formal meetings, but we still had a decent turnout, and my impression is that a drinks event is not overall less popular, but rather that fewer people who identify as allies come if there is not a specific topic under discussion. That’s not a problem at all, but I do want to reiterate that allies are welcome at all IP Out events. I did worry that people would be deterred from attending an event where they had to buy drinks for themselves and each other rather than refreshments being kindly supplied by our host firm (and our host firms have always been very generous), but from what I saw that did not cause a problem at all.
Gratifyingly, from my rough count, about a quarter of people attending were at an IP Out event for the first time, so we are still succeeding in reaching out to new people, while remaining well-supported by our excellent committee and regular participants. I was also delighted to see that we continue to attract a wide cross-section of people from across the intellectual property law and related professions, which, as I discovered at the IP Inclusive AGM, is an aspect in which the IP Out group is really excelling. But it seems that we cannot say too often, so I am saying it again – IP Out is not only for patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys, solicitors, barristers, notaries, legal executives, members of the judiciary, trainees for those roles, and members of the judiciary. IP Out is for anyone working in IP, regardless of your role, which, in a non-exclusive list, could include secretarial, formalities, records, paralegal, searcher, journalist, translator, patent illustrator, conference organiser, HR, IT, accounts, marketing, or office services. If you are in a patent and trade mark attorney firm, an IP law firm, the IP department of an IP law firm, an in-house IP department, legal publisher, search firm, translation firm, patent illustration firm, barristers’ chambers, or similar or related organisation that I can’t think of at the moment, we would love to have you join us for any event that you wanted to attend. They are all listed on our webpage here.
Thank you again to everyone who attended our first event of 2018 and contributing to such a splendid evening.”