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SMALL PRINTERS CELEBRATE INAGURAL CONFERENCE IN NEW ORLEANS

BY AMERICAN PRINTER STAFF

More than 120 people attended the National Print Owners Association’s (NPOA) inaugural conference, held April 18–21, 2013, at the Holiday Inn Superdome in New Orleans. The group, which currently has 267 members, reports that the event was “more successful than anything the officers and founders of NPOA could have reasonably expected.”

A QUICK-TURN EVENT

“This event was conceived, organized and executed within a three-month window by a small handful of extremely busy small business printers who served as the volunteer force and spark behind the event,” says Scott Cappel, owner of Sorrento Mesa Printing and an NPOA co-founder. “That it even happened was a miracle, but the attendees’ response was even more amazing.”

BUYING A LIST

NPOA was launched in January 2013, when 19 small commercial printers, many of whom had been closely associated with the National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP), created a new association. During the event, NPOA announced it had acquired the PrintOwner’s Listserv from consultant Mike Stevens. Although now owned and administered by NPOA, the list will be maintained and available to all members of the printing industry.

NPOA announced two purchasing partnerships with vendors. Xerox is offering 10–15% off on a variety of its equipment, and Accuzip also has a special offer—members who sign up for one year’s service will receive an additional six months free.

DIGITAL EQUIPMENT INSIGHTS

Catherine Monson, CEO, FASTSIGNS International, Inc., gave the keynote address: “Adding Signage and Visual Graphics to Your Business: Sell More to Your Existing Customers.” Other highlights included tips on choosing and buying digital equipment (Larry Hunt Newsletters), thriving in the new cross-media world (Xerox), implementing PURLs (CustomXM), inkjet trends (Konica Minolta), envelope printing (Intec and Printware), adding mailing services (Accuzip), and profit leaders/laggards (John Stewart).

Additional notable sessions included a “Boosting Sales Per Employee” panel discussion moderated by Sorrento Mesa’s Scott Cappel. Consultant Ryan Sauers offered two sales training sessions, and Eric Holdo, Senior Vice President of Production Print Solutions, Konica-Minolta, offered marketing insights. EFI/Printsmith, Printer’s Plan and Accuzip conducted training session on their products.

 POSITIVE FEEDBACK

Commenting on the NPOA LinkedIn Group, Michele Baltz of TCS Printing & Graphics said it had been years since she had attended an industry conference. “I’m so glad I did.… [There was] tons of useful info at the sessions and [it was] a great opportunity to meet peers and connect for further growth.”

NPOA Executive Director John Stewart said many attendees hailed the conference as a welcome return to their roots. “[They] said it reminded them of the early days of NAQP.The most frequently heard question was ‘When and where will the next conference be held?’”

SEE FOR YOURSELF

Wondering what other NPOA attendees had to say? We’ll share this video with you as well as some related links.

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