An Update Regarding the 2024 Mid-Winter Institute

Written May 24, 2023

The AIPLA Board of Directors routinely reviews our meeting structure and educational offerings to ensure we are providing meaningful opportunities for our members to learn, engage, and network.  At the same time, we are keenly aware of the challenges that attending a meeting can place on our members, particularly in this post-Covid world.  To better respond to, and balance, our members’ needs, we are making some changes.
More than thirty years ago, the Mid-Winter Institute was launched as a thematic institute, different from AIPLA’s stated meetings.  Focused on specific and practical issues, the Institute offered robust training sessions designed to help our members think through complex and cutting-edge issues to better serve their clients, business partners, policy makers, and other IP stakeholders.  Over time, however, the Institute has evolved into a format that more closely resembles AIPLA’s other two stated meetings (i.e., the Annual and Spring Meetings).  While AIPLA’s meeting structure is one of the hallmarks of our organization (and something we have no intention of changing), the outcome of this shift is that we have lost a part of AIPLA’s heritage—a true institute.  
As a first step, the Board of Directors has voted to take a year off to start this evaluation process and to consider how we may want to reshape and re-imagine what the meeting structure, particularly the Mid-Winter Institute, should look like in years to come.  Importantly, for you, our members, this means there will be no Mid-Winter Institute in 2024
Equally important is what will happen during this year without a meeting; what might the future look like?  Perhaps a leadership seminar, where members can focus and evolve as contributors to a broader profession; or maybe a joint function with a sister IP organization to allow our members to sharpen their global focus; or perhaps, acknowledging the benefits of breaks, holding a special Mid-Winter event every other year?  These options, and others, are all on the table. Our goal is to ensure that whatever shape the future program takes will meet the strategic goals of the association (F.A.M.E.).
The Mid-Winter Institute is a beloved meeting for many--it’s your break from the winter blues and a chance to gain some cutting edge CLE while reconnecting with colleagues from around the world, whether through an only “slightly” competitive match of golf or tennis, an after-hours fireside get together where it is actually warm enough to sit outside, or even just a more intimate setting to spend time with leaders, such as the AIPLA Past Presidents who are celebrated every year at the Mid-Winter Institute.  We understand how important this is to so many.  We want you to know that this valuable piece of AIPLA’s DNA will be treated with respect in the evaluation process. 
In the meantime, we need your help.  AIPLA is 100% a membership organization and we are at our best when our members contribute.  So PLEASE reach out by emailing to share your ideas and help us make our future meeting structure meet your needs! 
Your AIPLA Board of Directors
Brian H. Batzli
Ann Mueting
Kim Van Voorhis
First Vice President