The state of the industry that produces the cards millions of consumers around the world use every day will be the focus at two events being hosted by the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA): the North American Workshop being held September 19-20, 2012 at the Sheraton Chicago O’Hare, in Chicago, Illinois, and the EuroForum being held 16-17 October, 2012 at the Westin Grand Munich in Munich, Germany.
There are over 30 billion manufactured cards in circulation around the world with more than 8.6 billion in North America and nearly 5 billion in Europe alone, encompassing a range of categories that include credit/debit cards, pre-paid phone cards and gift cards. Cards represent a value to the global economy of more than $17 billion, almost $4 billion to the European economy and nearly $2.4 billion to the North American economy* (*ICMA 2011 Global Market Statistics Report).
“The global card industry faces unprecedented challenges from a supply and demand and production perspective,” said Al Vrancart, ICMA Industry Advisor and Founder Emeritus. “At these events, all key card industry stakeholders, including manufacturers, personalizers and fulfillment companies, issuers and suppliers, will dialogue on how to maintain the industry’s growth and make the business, operational and technological changes necessary to ensure cards’ continued importance as a key contributor to the global economy.”
At the North American Workshop and EuroForum events, card industry participants and ICMA members will address global, North America and Europe-specific issues expected to impact the future of the card market such as new technologies, standards and evolving operational issues changing the way cards are designed, manufactured and secured; new card market opportunities and categories as well as expanded opportunities in existing markets such as pre-paid, gift and environmentally-sustainable cards; more rapid and cost-effective ways to design, personalize, produce and quality test cards and get them to market, and better methods the card industry as a whole can employ to measure its performance.
This year’s events will, for the first time, feature interactive roundtable discussions that will analyze and explore current and future card market dynamics, path-forward trends, technologies and innovations on the horizon that will drive new and profitable card manufacturing growth, and best practices. As in previous years, the event will also feature card industry supplier table top displays, a product showcase and a networking dinner, enabling ICMA members to interact with each other and exchange ideas.