From the Editor: Conference A Hit
I WAS kind of shocked last month when I realized I have attended 15 consecutive In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association conferences. It seems like only yesterday that I was the new kid, lost in a sea of managers at the Stouffer Nashville Hotel; now I'm one of the only ones left who remember those crowded IPMA conferences of yore.
Attendance certainly has shrunk in my decade and a half of involvement. Still, I found it reassuring that more than 100 managers made the trip to Rochester, N.Y., for IPMA's 50th conference—a great turnout in the current economic climate. After all, it wasn't that long ago that the Association of College and University Printers had to cancel its conference due to cutbacks and travel bans at many universities. (A couple of ACUP regulars gave IPMA a try this year, boosting attendance.)
At the IPMA business lunch, President-elect John Sarantakos reported that "the financial strength of the organization is very good." More than 200 new members have signed up since last year, he added, and the association hopes to increase membership to 750 by next year.
As conferences go, this one was packed with sessions and activities. The schedule was filled right up to the dinner bell, with some of the biggest names in the printing industry (Frank Romano, Howie Fenton, Barb Pellow) giving presentations. When I looked over my notes to write my conference recap (page 20) I was struck by how much information I had collected—way too much to include in a single story. The conference was certainly a great educational bargain for the managers who attended.
One trend I've noticed at in-plant conferences over the past year or so is something I'll call relocating. For example, at IPMA, attendees were transported to both the Xerox and Kodak facilities on different days, not only for tours but for a number of sessions. Last fall, the National Government Publishing Association did the same thing, busing attendees to the Washington State Department of Printing for a plant tour, then holding a couple of educational sessions there too. At ACUP 2008, the conference relocated to a local botanical garden for sessions on environmental sustainability. In all of these cases I felt that relocating the conference sessions shook things up and broke up the routine of sitting in the same seat, in the same hotel conference room for three days in a row.
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, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.