From the Editor: In-plants at Graph Expo
My first Graph Expo was in 1992, in New York City. As you can imagine, offset presses dominated the show floor, and the cacophony of equipment noise was impressive.
There wasn’t much attention paid to in-plants back then. The focus was on the equipment, and any in-plant managers who were there kicking the tires just blended in with the general crowd. Maybe they bumped into one another, maybe they didn’t. No one cared much, as long as they were buying.
Nowadays, it’s a different story. In-plants are recognized at Graph Expo as a distinct group, and a variety of events have been set up for their benefit. The Graphic Arts Show Co. has targeted them in its educational program, the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association holds a luncheon in their honor, and IPG hosts two breakfasts and a lunch for managers, pairing the free food with panel discussions and peer presentations. In-plants even have their own booth: the In-Plant Place Networking Hub (#4631) where they can meet up with one another and take a break, courtesy of IPMA.
This in-plant recognition has been going on for a few years now, and it’s certainly provided a welcoming atmosphere for in-plants, while showing the graphic arts community that they are a force to be reckoned with.
IPG began bringing in-plant managers together at Graph Expo back in 2001 when we hosted the first roundtable luncheon for the “Top 70” in-plants. Nearly 30 managers showed up, from well-known companies like Boeing, Best Buy, Target, Allstate, Cigna and Safeco, plus a number of university and state printing operations. It was a free-flowing discussion of topics like business card pricing, design services, copier fleets, digital printing and, of course, survival. (Sadly, half of the in-plants represented at that meeting did not survive the next decade.)
Last year, our Graph Expo in-plant meetings blossomed into three separate breakfast and lunch sessions, and each was filled to capacity. I must say, it was nice to see so many in-plant managers together in one room and have the chance to talk with them.
We’re hosting another trio of meetings at this year’s show, giving you a chance to relax, eat and learn from your peers. I’m certain the rooms will again be filled to capacity, so if you didn’t already register, here’s the link.
I look forward to seeing many of you in Chicago at the show.
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.