Government Printers Rendezvous in the Rockies

Nearly 30 government attendees came to Denver for the 35th annual NGPA conference.

Left to right: Tim Smith (Wisconsin) and Debby Messina (Delaware) listen intently to a presentation.

Southern attendees compare notes during a member session. From left: Larry Dixon, Neal Hamilton and Doug Beckham (all from the Mississippi Joint Legislature) and Susie Barthel (Louisiana General Services Division).

Liz Vega of Xerox (right) moderates a panel. From left: IPG Editor Bob Neubauer; Colorado's Mike Lincoln, and NAPL consultant Howie Fenton.

On the final day of the conference, attendees visited the State of Colorado’s Integrated Document Services operation. Here, operator Mike Schaffer runs the in-plant’s Xerox Nuvera 288 as the group passes by.

Government printers from Mississippi, Alaska and Texas compare notes.

Chatting in the vendor area between sessions are (from left) Susie Barthel (Louisiana), Debby Messina (Delaware), Lise Melton (Iowa) and Liz Vega, of Xerox.

In his presentation, NAPL’s Howie Fenton recommended that managers monitor customers’ changing demands and shift their focus accordingly.

New NGPA officers were installed during the dinner gala. From left: new NGPA President Susie Barthel (Louisiana); John Wright (Alaska); Mike Lincoln (Colorado); Tim Smith (Wisconsin); and Ryan Betcher (Montana).

Alaska's John Wright introduces himself during the opening session.

Attendees talk at the lunch table.

On the last day of the conference, Chris Reich, CEO of TeachU, gave a popular presentation called “Using Game Theory to Make Effective Presentations.”

Consultant Vic Barkin talked about how in-plants can leverage partnerships with other in-plants and with vendors.

Government in-plants gathered in Denver last month for the NGPA 2012 conference.

State government printers from around the country assembled in Denver last month for the 35th annual National Government Publishing Association (NGPA) conference. About 30 government attendees took part in the three-day event, which was titled “Exceptional Government and the Power of Partnership.”

In addition to the educational sessions, roundtables and member discussions, the group visited the State of Colorado’s Integrated Document Services (IDS) operation, overseen by conference host Mike Lincoln. There they saw the in-plant’s extensive offset and digital printing operation—which includes a Xerox Color 1000 and a two-color Presstek/A.B. Dick 9995 offset press, among other equipment—as well as its impressive mailing operation, home to two Pitney Bowes FlowMaster inserters and a 94-bin Olympus sorter.

The conference got off to a great start with keynote speaker Gary Reblin, USPS vice president, Domestic Products. He stressed that even in this age of digital communication via smart phones, direct mail is still a powerful medium. He noted that 80 percent of people look at their mail daily, and 63 percent of mail is kept for at least two days.

“I think anybody would like to say their TV commercial was seen by 80 percent of the people,” he argued.

Though digital messages may be cheaper, Reblin added, “Mail is more effective than e-mail.” A paper message stirs deeper emotions and richer feelings, he said. Also, he added, people receive fewer of them; the average person gets 157 e-mails a day, but just two pieces of direct mail.

“Direct mail helps you break through the clutter,” he said.

Reblin talked about how mailers can use QR codes to increase response rates and get more information to the recipient.

“You can’t put everything you want on a mail piece,” he said. So add a QR code to link the recipient to that additional information online. Just make sure the scanned QR code brings the viewer to a mobile-optimized site, he cautioned.

Related story: Government Printers Meet in Virginia Beach

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics 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 more than 130 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 Graphics.

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