IPG Conference A Success
At the recent IPG Conference and Expo in the Big Apple, in-plant managers wanted fresh ideas for dealing with tough times.
by Mike Llewellyn
CHANGE WAS on everyone's mind at the recent In-Plant Graphics Conference and Expo. Whether that meant breaking into digital technology or rolling with the punches in a down economy, most in-plant managers in attendance wanted to know what they should do differently to stay ahead of the curve.
The turnout was solid at the debut of the IPG Conference in midtown Manhattan last month. Held in conjunction with the established BookTech show, it featured an exhibition of more than 150 publishing and production technology vendors, as well as more than 40 educational sessions, seven of them geared specifically to in-plants.
A keynote address by Peter Meirs, director of alternative media technologies at Time, Inc., kicked off the event, and his talk set the tone for the rest of the conference. Titled "Ride the Wave," Meirs' presentation focused on the importance of staying open and enthusiastic about change, an attitude he calls "business agility."
Using Time as an example, Meirs described how he lead the magazine publishing giant to adopt an integrated operations management system and a computer-to-plate system. Because this was such a major change in the day-to-day operation of the company, Meirs and his team expected resistance. Instead, they were able to implement the shift in just under a year. Meirs says success came because the team stayed attuned to the concerns of the employees whom the change would affect.
"Trust, inclusion and empowerment create a culture that readily embraces change," he told the crowd, explaining that management must constantly communicate its vision. Employees who expect change, he added, are more likely to embrace the arrival of new technology.
Empowered to embrace change, in-plant managers were ready for the rest of the conference.