The attendance of 433 graphic communications industry executives, representing 185 companies, with printers outnumbering vendor participants by a 2:1 ratio, solidified the successful debut of the Vision 3 Summit, a groundbreaking new leadership conference produced by the industry’s top three associations.
The conference which took place March 13–16, 2011, at the Desert Springs JW Marriott in Palm Desert, CA, was a joint effort co-produced by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL); NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies (NPES); and, Printing Industries of America.
Designed for company owners and executives, the two-and-a-half day event offered a distinctly management-level approach to addressing the industry’s biggest challenges. “Our associations realized early in our planning that, given the variety of challenges facing the graphic communications industry today, it was essential for the conference to speak directly to the needs of the highest levels of company management,” explained Michael Makin, President and CEO of Printing Industries of America. Participants concurred, reporting the information and management-level discussions were “forward thinking, innovative” and particularly useful, along with the meeting materials that were available online for follow-up.
Because the Vision 3 Summit was a joint effort of the industry’s top three associations, attendees also benefited from a mix of insights they normally would not receive at other gatherings. “Despite how vast the graphic communications industry is, it really is a small world out there—and seems even smaller when you’re seeing all the same people at the same events every year,” observed Ralph Nappi, President of NPES. “The Vision 3 Summit is a rare leadership conference that mingles both industry service provider and vendor attendees at the highest levels of management. Participants gain tremendous value and best practices for running their companies from such a mix of expertise, experience and perspectives.”
As the program evaluations revealed, attendees agreed the most valuable aspects of the program were the “great information,” “wide variety of content” and, as repeatedly voiced throughout the program, the “networking among the three groups was the best thing.”
Executives also offered plenty of positive feedback on the variety of topics covered by the leadership conference, which spanned the gamut of management concerns—from the economic recovery to future growth markets, to new-media marketing strategies and sales tactics—with a particular emphasis on real-world applications and “how-to” advice. Participants gave high marks for the “good mix of general and breakout sessions,” “variety of topics” and the numerous opportunities for “meeting new folks, hearing new ideas and gaining new confidence to continue business practices.”
“This was not your standard management conference,” noted Joseph P. Truncale, President and CEO of NAPL. “The Vision 3 Summit covered an array of topics, delivered in various formats to ensure that participants would come away from every session having learned something applicable to their own businesses. As such, we made sure to include sessions in a variety of formats with subject-matter experts, panel discussions covering real-life business examples, inspiring keynote addresses and more.” The result was a conference that was practical and visionary, which presented as one participant stated, “real business ideas for business people.”