IPMA 2015 Conference: Splashed with Education and Fun
Attendees learned from industry experts, connected with their in-plant peers, and kept the conversation going on the conference app during the 2015 Orlando event.
If the four-day IPMA Conference in Orlando, June 14-18, could be summed up in one phrase, it would be: “Everything is awesome!” In the sessions, during breaks, at receptions and other social events, there was a buzz of conversation and positive energy flowing among attendees.
More than 130 attended the event, themed, “Splash of Color,” and the in-plant directors and managers enjoyed an opportunity to connect and get to know one another on a more personal level while they shared their professional experiences and challenges in a relaxed, open setting that offered a perfect mix of education and entertainment.
Before the conference even started conference-goers had connected with their peers on the mobile conference app. On Sunday morning dozens of conference attendees gathered to participate in the IPMA Activities, sponsored by interlinkONE, which included a Fun Run/Walk, Basketball, and Tennis.
On Sunday evening attendees were welcomed with great food, colorful cocktails, dancing, and conversations during the Registration Reception and Opening Welcome Reception, at the Red Coconut Club at Universal Studio’s CityWalk sponsored by Konica Minolta. This event set the tone for an upbeat fun atmosphere which continued over the next three days.
At this year’s conference we had four keynote and 30 breakout session speakers! Patrick Henry kicked off Monday morning’s breakfast with his “Creating ‘Remember-able’ Customer Service” keynote. Patrick was able to engage the audience with his story and impromptu songs, attendees walked away with a smile on their face and songs stuck in their heads.
Following the keynote there were four stellar breakout sessions, “Mailpiece Design for Automation,” James Barlow, Mail Systems Mgmt.; “Colorful In-plant Ideas,” Panel discussion moderated by Elisha Kasinskas, RSA; Konica Minolta Case Study; and “Technical Aspects of Printing Every Print Manager Should Know,” Brad Johnson, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints.
John Foley, Jr., interlinkONE offered some food for thought at lunch during his, “Business Transformation: A New Path to Profit for In-Plant Facilities” keynote. John addressed the severe threat of outsourcing that every in-plant faces. But reminded attendees that the threat should not be mistaken as a sign to close up shop. Instead, it should drive their in-plant to discover new ways to add value to their parent organization in the second half of 2015 and 2016.
Closing out the day were four more breakout sessions, “Direct Mail Solutions,” John Johnson, Palm Beach Schools; “The Results Are In,” Sylvia Marmon, City of Boise; “Utilizing Outsourcing to Increase Your Strategic Relevance,” Abbas Badani, Penn State University; and “Business Transformation With Canon Customer Panel,” Moderated by John Foley, Jr., interlinkONE.
On Tuesday we kicked off the day by having chocolate for breakfast during Denise Ryan’s “Motivation by Chocolate” keynote, sponsored by RSA. Attendees learned nine key concepts to help them get more out of work and life. This included persistence, passion, effective allocation of resources, the law of diminishing returns, and more! Attendees also got to participate in a chocolate tasting to demonstrate not only how to appreciate chocolate, but also life itself.
During Denise Ryan’s keynote session, “Motivation by Chocolate” we had attendees share the lessons that they felt were most applicable to them. On July 14, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. CT we will be holding a webinar (sponsored by RSA) where members can gain an inside perspective as we review a special booklet prepared from the thoughts and musings of the attendees. We’ll take you through the nine lessons and you can decide which apply to you. Invite your leadership or the entire shop to attend this webinar and learn what motivates each of you so that you can operate at the highest level as a team.
Click here to register for the webinar now.
After breakfast attendees went to one of four very informative breakout sessions: “How to Market Your In-Plant’s Services in K-12 Education,” Erica Derrington, Olathe Schools; “Leverage Your In-Plant Advantage,” Chris Lien and Mitch Carpenter, BCC Software; “Rev Up In-Plant Revenue with a Centralized Online Portal,” Duane Fitch, University of Illinois; “Production Inkjet Will Change Your In-plant,” Moderated by Bob Neubauer; Panelists, Mike Lincoln, Colorado State Printer; Catherine Ciardi, Excellus; David Leonard, World Bank Printing & Multimedia Services.
During lunch our attendees got an exclusive look at IPMA’s newest benefit, IPMA Exchange! Which is our new members-only secure, private community that empowers you, our member, to create meaningful communication. This community will provide members with new ways of interacting with their peers that allows them to share information quickly, increase collaboration, solve problems, ask questions, and provides them with a forum for innovation. The community will also store all of their member benefits including articles, webinar recording, presentations, and much more!
The day was ended with four more breakout sessions: “Reaping the Full Benefits from Full Service IMb,” James Barlow, Mail Systems Mgmt.; “Partnering with your Marketing Department,” Tammy Slone, Cedarville University; “Making Your In-Plant Appealing to Millennials,” John Foley Jr. and Samantha Lake, Grow Socially; “Relevancy as a Key to Your Success” Moderated by Ryan Kiley and Debbie Pavletich, Ricoh; Panelists John Sarantakos – Oklahoma University; Catherine Ciardi – Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield; Mike Lincoln – Colorado State Printer; Brian Patterson – Briggs & Stratton.
During breakfast attendees were energized during the Shazam Power sessions, where they learned from IPMA Platinum Sponsors. Presentation were given by representatives from Konica Minolta, Ricoh, and Xerox.
After a break, to visit with vendors, attendees heard from Howie Fenton, the final keynote speaker of the conference on, “What Makes a World Class In-Plant and How to Become One.” Howie announced the latest in-plant benchmarking results and discussed strategies used by world class in-plants including the way they handle declines in volume, measure, and benchmark performance, monitor and maintain competitiveness, track and respond to the changing needs of customers, and add more value.
During lunch the IPMA Board of Directors and Executive Director Carma Goin, gave a State of the Association address, in which attendees learned about what has been happening at the association and that lies ahead for IPMA.
We wrapped up the conference with four final breakout sessions: “Intelligent Packing Systems,” Don McCarty, East Tennessee State University; “Managed Print Services Roundtable/Panel,” Teddy Abad, State of Colorado, “Lessons Learned,” Todd Graham, Delta Dental; “What Do You Want Your Headline to Read in 5 Years?”
2015 IPMA and In-Print Awards
This year IPMA did something different, we held the awards dinner, sponsored by Ricoh, on Monday instead of Wednesday. This allowed award winners to “bask in the glory” of their win for a few days, instead of receiving their award and leaving the next morning. We also had our first every Attendee’s Choice Award. On Monday, conference attendees were able to enjoy refreshments as they browsed the winners of the In-Print 2015 Contest and voted for the Best of Show “Attendee’s Choice Award.”
This was a huge hit and we would like to congratulate East Carolina University on winning the first ever In-Print Attendees Choice Award!
IPMA and In-Plant Graphic also honored those who entered great pieces into the In-Print Awards Competition, but didn’t receive awards, with a Judges Recognition Award.
We would also like to congratulate Brigham Young University (BYU) for winning the Best of Show for 0ffset.
And Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield for winning Best of Show non-offset.
Click here to read more about our Best of Show winners and see the video that revealed who was chosen.
IPMA attendees could not have asked for a better group of exhibitors at this year’s vendor fair. While the vendor fair was only open for a day and a half, exhibitors networked and got to know attendees over the four day conference.
Attendees and exhibitors were in constant communication, it was not out of the ordinary to see exhibitors and attendees interacting in a way that seemed like they had known each other for years, instead of only just meeting.
In addition to the social interactions, exhibitors brought a wealthy of information to the conference. The vendor fair was knowledge sharing at its best. There was a steady stream of industry-related information, tips, and suggestions being exchanged between attendees and exhibitors.
Wild Ending to the Conference
On Wednesday evening attendees loaded up and headed to Wild Florida for the Closing Reception, sponsored by Xerox. Attendees were able to come up close and personal with the wildlife, ride in airboats, feed the gators and exotic bird, have their photo taken with a baby gator, and enjoy a BBQ dinner that included frog legs and alligator bites.
As an added bonus attendees got to experience a lovely Florida downpour and literally get splashed, but the rain only lasted 30 minutes and didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. All in all it was an amazing way to end an awesome conference!
Mobile App Engagement and Tweets
Perhaps the success of the conference in stimulating networking was most immediately captured in the numerous post on the mobile app and tweets that attendees posted on Twitter during the event. Click here to view the posts and tweets that followed the conference hashtag, #IPMA15.
To view more photos check out our Facebook page!