World Intellectual Property Organization

Outreach - Using Events

Special Days

The use of a special day (or week) to commemorate a specific issue year after year can be a particularly effective way to raise awareness of that issue. Such days provide an opportunity for different stakeholders interested in the issue to promote a single message related to that issue with a series of activities and events taking place in a limited period of time. These events tend to generate extensive media interest, so multiplying the message being transmitted by the different events and activities.

Governments, NGOs and private corporations around the world, have established national days to raise awareness of specific issues related to intellectual property. Following are examples of IP-related special days at an international level:

  • World Intellectual Property Day :  In recognition of the advantages of dedicating a special day to a specific issue, in the year 2000, WIPO's member States decided to designate April 26 as World Intellectual Property Day. Since the first celebration of this day in 2001, WIPO has used this day to highlight the significance of creativity and innovation in people's daily lives and in the betterment of society. As part of the IP day celebrations, WIPO has produced press releases, posters, bookmarks, and special publications to help member States celebrate the day. WIPO has also organized an essay competition and events such as the screening of films related to intellectual property. Member States also carry out a wide variety of activities and produce special products for their national celebrations of World IP day. More specific information about such activities and products can be found at the IP Day page of the WIPO website.
  • World Book and Copyright Day :   The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organizes the celebration of World Book and Copyright Day every year on the 23 rd of April. One of the main objectives of this day is to promote the protection of written works through the use of copyright. This day also provides an opportunity for the general public to recognize the achievements and rights of authors who have contributed to social and cultural progress. UNESCO enlists the help of partners (such as authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, NGOs and the mass media) to mark this celebration of books, authors, and their rights.
  • World Anti-Counterfeiting Day :  Established in 1998 by the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG), this day is held every year at the end of June to raise awareness of the international costs of counterfeiting and piracy.



Awards provide incentives and rewards for people who adopt the behavior being promoted in an outreach campaign. Furthermore, award ceremonies tend to attract media attention and thus draw more attention to an outreach campaign. Thus, awards represent a cost-effective means of promoting a wider knowledge and understanding of the IP system.

WIPO issues three types of awards, namely, the WIPO Award for Inventors, the WIPO Creativity Award and the WIPO Trophy for Innovative Enterprises. These awards are designed to offer recognition to inventors, innovators, designers, creators and innovative companies.

As can be seen in the examples listed in the Outreach in Practice database, many other institutions offer awards as part of their outreach activities and campaigns. Many of these awards are given in recognition of the creation of IP, while others are given in recognition of services rendered for the protection of IP.



Exhibitions allow the showcasing of IP issues related to an outreach campaign in a way that can be easily related to by the public. The possibilities for exhibitions relating to IP issues are virtually endless. As with any other communication tool, in order to ensure a successful exhibition, its communications goal and target audience must be properly identified before any work is begun. A clear understanding of the goal and the audience will facilitate in the choice of theme, content, and location of the exhibition.

Since 1999, WIPO has organized at least one IP-related exhibition per year at its Geneva headquarters. The concept, exhibition plan and publications related to these exhibitions can be adapted and recreated to fit national requirements. For more information on how to recreate one of these exhibitions at a national level, please contact  The following are examples of recent WIPO exhibitions:

  • Women Invent. (1998 -1999). This exhibition honored women inventors of all ages, in all fields, and from all regions of the world.
  • At Home with Invention. (1999) The accompanying publication and CD-ROM are still widely used worldwide to explain how IP is present all around us.
  • Comics, Cartoons, and Creativity. This explored the universal medium of comics and cartoons while explaining how copyright gives creators the ability to gain recognition and financial reward for their work, thus providing encouragement for further creation.
  • Striving for Excellence: an exhibition on intellectual property and sport. This offered a glimpse of the technological advances that have enhanced sport both on and off the track, and of the IP that underpins it.


Seminars appear to be the communications tool of choice for the promotion of IP issues. They have the benefit of being very targeted events with a captive audience, and can provide immediate feedback to the communicator. Since seminars are usually given to a small number of people with similar interests and concerns, the information presented at these events can be much more detailed and technical than that used with other communications tools. Again, such information should be tailored according to the needs and expectations of the target audience.

WIPO holds many seminars every year on a variety of IP issues and for very different target audiences. Information on these seminars, including copies of some of the presentations and documents given at these events, can be found at:

Written requests from national IP offices for the organization of a specific WIPO seminar should be addressed to WIPO's Director General.

Explore WIPO