IPMA 2010: A Hot Time in New Mexico
The 51st In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association conference brought some of the industry’s hottest speakers and top in-plant managers to Albuquerque.July 2010 By Bob Neubauer
The 2010 In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference was "hot" in more ways than one.
First there was the temperature. Attendees arrived in Albuquerque just in time for a rare spring heat wave, which brought temperatures up to 100 degrees on most days.
Then there was the food. With red and green chili spicing up nearly every dish, attendees enjoyed their share of hot meals, including an evening outing to one of Albuquerque's most popular restaurants, El Pinto.
But hotter than both food and sun were the topics, speakers and enthusiasm at this year's conference, which brought close to 100 in-plant managers to New Mexico's largest city. Among a host of excellent speakers were three of the printing industry's most knowledgeable and compelling experts, Barb Pellow, Bill Farquharson and Howie Fenton, offering managers excellent advice on how to thrive in spite of the sour economy.
Adding to the excitement was a vendor fair, where managers checked out some of the latest technologies for their in-plants. And the whole three-day event wrapped up with an awards banquet, during which two in-plants were honored with Best of Show awards.
IPMA President John Sarantakos, head of University of Oklahoma Printing Services, was one of the key organizers of the conference, and kept things running smoothly. During a business lunch on the third day, he presented an uplifting picture of the association's status.
"IPMA is healthy and growing," he said. It has a positive cash flow, its headquarters were just moved to a larger space, and a membership campaign is underway to increase the current roster of 550+ members.
Hitting the Ground Running
The conference got off to a great start with keynote speaker Bill Farquharson, a digital print sales trainer and founder of Aspire For Inc. There's less print work to go around these days, he noted, and this is scaring commercial printers. Most of them are competing on price alone.
"Relationships are dead," he declared.
To stay in business, in-plants must study their customers' challenges and solve their problems.
"Solve the problem, earn the order," he proclaimed.
You must become technologically superior to your competition, he said. If you master the software the customer uses, they will stick with you. Lock them in by providing design templates, a Web-to-print option and educating them on how to make print-ready files.