IPMA Conference: One of the Best Yet
BY MOST accounts, the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference in Tunica, Miss., last month was one of the best ever. Attendance was up, enthusiasm was high and the presentations were engaging, informative and well attended.
True, it was a virtual oven outside, with daily temps in the mid-90s, but the action was all indoors, from the big vendor fair on the first day, to the excitement of the awards banquet on the last.
“The participants seemed more serious about finding out new information this year,” observed Glenda Miley, manager of Auburn University’s CopyCat operation. “I noticed that most of the seminars I attended were full.”
“The sessions were well thought out and planned to provide timely and useful information for in-plant management,” added Rick Wise, director of the University of Missouri-Columbia Printing Services (and also one of the presenters).
Case in point: Keynote Speaker Tom Hinton researched the in-plant industry in the months before the conference and tailored his talk on leadership to the specific concerns of in-plant managers.
“We researched the ‘hot topics’ and trends in our industry and secured sessions to address all of these areas,” explained Debbie Pavletich, of Briggs & Stratton, who doubled as IPMA president.
This year nearly 120 in-plant managers attended the conference, up 20 percent from last year. Vendor participation increased by almost the same percentage (despite the overlap with Drupa). This is a good sign for an organization that some feared was fading away. But in fact, as reported to members during a business luncheon, IPMA is back in the black, with a self-supporting conference, enthusiastic vendor support and a growing bank account ready to support future investments.
Focus on Marketing
The educational sessions this year focused on a range of topics, from FSC certification to digital color presses, but one topic seemed to pop up over and over: marketing. Whether it was keynote speaker Barb Pellow, of Info
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.