The second annual Vision 3 Summit convened in Marco Island, FL, on Sunday, February 19 and ran through Wednesday, February 22. The conference, which addresses the interests and concerns of commercial printers, is produced jointly by NPES, NAPL, and Printing Industries of America. The theme for...
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The second annual Vision 3 Summit convened in Marco Island, FL, on Sunday, February 19 and ran through Wednesday, February 22. The conference, which addresses the interests and concerns of commercial printers, is produced jointly by NPES, NAPL, and Printing Industries of America. The theme for this year’s conference was “Focus Your Vision on Transformation and Growth.”
In the congenial atmosphere of Florida’s Gulf Coast, printers, vendors, industry consultants, and association representatives came together to network and learn from one another. The event kicked off with Sunday night’s Welcome Reception, which was held in one of the courtyards of the Marco Island Marriott Resort.
Day One: Economic Turnaround
On Monday morning, attendees gathered in the main speakers’ hall for a day-long slate of presentations. In the opening session, Dr. Jeffrey Rosensweig, director of the Global Perspectives Program, Goizueta Business School of Emory University, addressed the subject on everyone’s minds, the economy. In “The Global Economy—Opportunities and Challenges”, he focused on several key indicators that provide clear evidence that, while slow, economic growth is happening.
Rosensweig offered figures that show manufacturing is on the rebound. “While we haven’t reached the highs from 2007, the growth is accelerating as we move deeper into 2012,” he noted. “You are in a tough industry, but overall, manufacturing is coming back.”
Even more compelling, although there is still fear that the momentum in the US economy can be negatively affected by the recession in Europe, our GDP (gross domestic product) has finally returned to the levels we saw prior to the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
While economic recovery was a recurring theme, so was the warning that recovery from the Great Recession will be different from previous recoveries. The economic turnaround does not mean that employment will return to pre-recession levels—at least, not right away. This recession caused a radical adjustment to the way business is conducted, and that change will remain in effect throughout the recovery.
Rosensweig also told attendees where they could expect to see the next wave of emerging markets. Look to countries that are experiencing population and economic growth. China has the fastest growing economy, followed closely by India, Taiwan, and Indonesia. However, while China has the fastest growing economy, you should be aware of the fact that it is still only half the size of the US economy. Other countries to watch are Turkey, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Embrace Digital Communication
Following that presentation, Kevin Keane, president of the International Association of Printing Craftsmen (IAPHC), spoke on “Keeping Print Relevant in an Increasingly Digital World.” He exhorted printers to “recognize that our own material is pretty damn awesome” and start promoting not only themselves and their companies but also their clients.
“We have to get out of the mindset of print as a manufacturing process,” Keane warned. Print is morphing from a manufacturing process into information services. This gives printers an opportunity to build community and engagement by using print as a launch pad to a completely immersive experience.
Printers must embrace emerging communication tools, such as social media, because that is where their customers are. It is crucial to interact one-to-one with customers. To that end, he suggested that printers should have one person on staff who is dedicated to maintaining and managing their social media marketing. “You’ve got to go where the people will respond, and that’s social media,” Keane said.
After a networking break, the crowd heard about “Transforming Your Business for Print Profitability” from a panel led by Chris Bondy, Gannett Distinguished Professor, interim administrative chair, at the School of Print Media, Rochester Institute of Technology. The panelists included Robert Blakely, vice president Business Development, for Echo Communicate; Jon Budington, president and CEO of Global Thinking; and John Sisson, president of Universal Wilde.