IPMA Cancels 2021 Conference
Back in the fall, with COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, it seemed entirely possible that the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference could take place as planned in Des Moines, Iowa, in June. But as the new year unfolded, and the reality of a sluggish vaccine rollout became apparent, suddenly June didn’t seem so far away.
This week, after polling members about their attendance plans, the association made the sad decision to cancel its 2021 Annual Educational Conference. It marks the second year in a row IPMA has had to cancel its live event due to COVID-19.
“IPMA’s priority is the health and safety of the in-plant community, including our members, vendors and staff,” said IPMA International President Kelly Hogg, in his first major announcement since becoming president on Jan. 1. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it has become clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we need to make tough choices. We recognize the magnitude of this decision for the association and our membership.”
The reality is that many companies, schools, and organizations still have travel bans in place, leaving in-plant managers with no option to attend live events. Though the virtual events that cropped up last year have provided valuable training opportunities, lost is the networking and camaraderie that make events like IPMA’s annual conference such a hit with attendees.
“Our annual conference brings together hundreds of professionals and exhibitors every year,” noted Hogg, director of Printing and Copying Services at the University of Virginia. “This year we were looking forward to the conference taking place in Iowa.”
In place of the live event, IPMA will again offer virtual educational sessions in the June timeframe. More information is yet to come. In the meantime, Hogg wishes his colleagues the best as they continue serving their organizations while dealing with the effect of the pandemic.
“During these challenging and uncertain times, my thoughts are with our members across the globe,” he said.