Something About IPMA…

More than 135 in-plant managers attended IPMA 2011, a 42 percent increase over last year.

David Estes of East Kentucky Power Cooperative (foreground, left) and Chris Barclay of Connecticut College listen intently during a session.

IPG's Bob Neubauer gave a presentation on adding value.

The conference gave managers plenty of time to mingle and compare stories. After one session, NAPL consultant Howie Fenton (left) talked with Texas attendees Amy Layton (UNT), Richard Beto (UT-Austin) and Jimmy Friend (UNT).

Mingle sticks provided lots of ice-breaking entertainment for attendees.

Richard Beto, of The University of Texas at Austin, gave a presentation on marketing, offering examples of how he and his staff promote their in-plant. His operation won IPMA’s Promotional Excellence Award.

The sessions at this year’s event were always packed.

From the left: Debbie Pavletich (Briggs & Stratton), Brian Patterson (Briggs & Stratton), Joanne Rotert (University of Missouri-Columbia) and Jane Bushnell (University of Utah) attend one very full session.

Beth Gatewood (University of Oklahoma) and Stanley Verser (Redlands Community College) listen to a presentation

At the awards banquet.

Mark Shaw of National Security Technologies inspects the In-Print awards during the reception.

Friends gather at the awards reception: Robert Mascerenhas, Richard Beto, Joanne Rotert, Tammy Dunham, Bob Neubauer, Greg Cholmondeley.

Friends gather at the awards reception.

Managers at the awards reception.

This year’s In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association conference stood out in a number of ways, and was one of the best conferences in years.

There was something about the recent In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference in Charleston, S.C., that really made it stand out; something more than the great sessions and packed vendor fair; something beyond the fact that Ricoh Americas launched a major color print system there, bringing the event into the national spotlight.

There was an enthusiasm among attendees that exceeded all previous years. Perhaps it had something to do with the 42 percent increase in attendance this year; or maybe it was the 44 first-time attendees strolling the halls of the Charleston Marriott. Whatever the reason, the spirit of camaraderie among in-plant managers was at an all time high.

The fact that numerous managers who had not attended for several years due to travel restrictions returned this year lent an upbeat mood to the event—not quite signaling the end of bad economic times, but certainly hinting that better days are coming fast.

“IPMA is in awesome shape,” declared IPMA President John Sarantakos, of the University of Oklahoma, at a membership luncheon. He revealed that the association is solvent and operating in the black—great news for a group that was in the red not too many years ago.

Industry wide, optimism seems to be on the rise, as indicated in an InfoTrends in-plant survey, cited by Marianne Morrison in her Tuesday morning keynote. She reported that 56 percent of in-plants expect to see revenue increases this year, compared to just 42 percent who were optimistic last year.

Her presentation was just one of nearly 30 excellent educational sessions at the four-day conference—the biggest in-plant event of the year. Those sessions covered dozens of themes designed to help in-plants get the equipment they need, increase their value and improve their operations.

The conference officially kicked off with a Sunday evening reception (watch video), where old friends were reunited and new attendees fit right in. More than 135 in-plant managers made the trip to Charleston this year, where they found daytime temperatures in the humid 90s, but pleasant evening weather.

Related story: From the Editor: In-plants Everywhere

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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