Updated January 2017
For technology transfer professionals getting ready for the next national meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers® (AUTM), it pays to prepare for one-on-one meetings with company representatives attending the conference . This post offers some advice that can really help you dive into these meetings with the confidence, knowledge, and ammunition you need for productive discussions.
Visit the Company’s Website
This may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure you know what you’re looking for. A review of the company’s website is essential to understanding its business size, markets, history, and other relevant details. Try to find information that will help you understand where your patent portfolio fits with the company’s product line. This will help you identify the key decision-makers that you’ll want to follow up with later.
Conduct Patent Research on the Company
Run a search in a patent database such as PatSnap using the company you’ll be meeting with as the assignee. Then use the database’s analytical tools to:
- See the names of their top inventors: Ask your inventors if they recognize the names from the professional conferences they’ve attended or — better yet — if they’ve ever crossed paths with them in person. This will give you some valuable relationship background to build upon.
- Uncover keyword clusters for the company’s patents: Compare this to your patent portfolio to find areas of potential matches or technologies that may augment one another.
Research Company News
Review recent news articles about the company. This will help you get a feel for the issues the company is dealing with now, hot topics that may be helpful for your discussions, or problems the company is tackling that your patent portfolio may be able to address.
Prepare a Preview of your Patent Portfolio
Bring brief descriptions of the technologies you think will be the best match for the company’s needs. Do not bring information about all the patents you have — this will likely overwhelm your prospects, plus they are short on time. Don’t be surprised if they don’t read everything you present and respond on the spot. But what you provide will give them take-away information they can consider later. It also will provide a basis for follow-up discussions. Speaking of which…
Follow Up 1 Week after the Conference
Keep the dialogue you’ve started warm. Call your contacts no later than 1 week after the conference to follow up, see if they have any questions or concerns, and respond to any actions that were discussed at the conference.
Do you have other advice for prepping for industry conference meetings? Contact us to continue the conversation or to find out how Fuentek can help you in marketing your technologies to industry.