IPMA 2019 Conference Gallops to Victory
Like a racehorse at nearby Churchill Downs, the 55th annual In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference got off to a fast start in Louisville, Ky., last week and kept on accelerating. The packed agenda planned by IPMA Executive Director Mike Loyd kept the 204 attendees fully engaged all week.
New IPMA President Sherri Isbell, from the University of Oklahoma, welcomed attendees — which included 53 first-timers — on June 3 morning to the "Be A FrontRunner Conference," before turning the reins over to Greg Cholmondeley, president of PRINTelligence Consulting. He used data from a recent in-plant study to identify areas where in-plants are strong and where they are struggling and provided an overview of the areas where in-plants need to focus to succeed in 2019.
Attendees had no sooner caught their breath when leadership speaker Pete Smith took the stage to encourage managers to relentlessly pursue significance. Dare to matter, he said. You always have a choice, though you may not like your options. Remove "I had no choice" from your vocabulary. This leads to empowerment and engagement, he said.
After IPMA members gathered for a town hall meeting to discuss the state of the association, they separated to attend one of five concurrent breakout sessions, on topics like copier fleets, USPS Informed Delivery, production inkjet, succession planning, and measuring success. And this was all before lunch.
Even lunchtime offered little rest. Consultant Howie Fenton took the microphone to offer next-generation tactics and strategies for in-plants. He addresses in-plant threats, pricing, staffing, training, education, marketing, and much more.
Overall, session topics last week were perfectly suited to the issues and struggles in-plants are facing, covering everything from writing strategic plans and building successful Web-to-print programs to color management and UV flatbed inkjet. On June 3 evening, the IPMA awards ceremony took place. Five in-plants were honored with IPMA awards: The State of Tennessee (Print Center of the Year); The Church of Scientology International (Mail Center of the Year); The State of Colorado (Innovation Award); Iowa State University (Organizational Impact Award); and Father Flanagan’s Boys Home (In-house Promotional Excellence Award). Also honored with IPMA Outstanding Contributor Awards were Bob Barbera, of Canon U.S.A., and Jud Posner, of the Church of Scientology International.
The 73 winners of In-Print 2019 awards were also recognized, and the two Best of Show winners were finally revealed. The winner on the offset side was The Church of Scientology International, while The World Bank Group took home its very first Best of Show in the non-offset categories.
On June 4 morning, the vendor fair opened, giving attendees the opportunity to talk with 48 vendors, many of whom brought equipment and software to demonstrate. Like June 3, June 4 was filled with keynotes (author Scott Christopher talked about embracing levity to bring greater employee satisfaction), panel discussions (three managers and a consultant discussed best practices to increase value) and breakout sessions galore. After a late-afternoon reception in the vendor fair, attendees got to explore Louisville on their own that night.
Also on June 3, the location of IPMA 2020 was announced. It will take place in Ft. Myers, Fla., on the Gulf Coast.
June 4's keynote by Bowen F. White, M.D. covered ways to have a healthier relationship with yourself instead of being your own worst enemy. The Workflow Family Feud Game Show provided some levity, and a series of roundtable discussions gave attendees the chance to discuss their own issues and ideas and help each other find solutions.
Watch for details on the sessions and activities at IPMA 2019 in an upcoming issue of In-plant Impressions.
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