The National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP) 2013 Owners Conference is being praised by attendees and sponsors alike as “a home run.” The Nov. 7-10 event in Nashville, Tenn., featured speakers and panels addressing the key issues faced by company owners and executives of quick and small commercial printers and mailers. Among the comments from attendees:
“This was a great one!” said Rick Schildgen, President of CL Graphics, Inc., Crystal Lake, Ill. “Not only were there excellent speakers, but at every presentation there was so much good interaction it was hard to finish up on time. There was good discussion between sessions, too. And [keynoter] Mike Rayburn was unbelievable?a remarkable talent!”
“I got more out of this event than many others,” said Cahill Jones, Owner, BizPrint, Boise, Idaho. “The speakers and topics were excellent and the interaction/workshop-like environment really brought out good discussion. My business will be better because of my attendance at the conference. I feel like I got solid advice and information.”
“FASTSIGNS was a first-time sponsor and attendee and I couldn't agree more on the professional organization of the show. We attend and put on a number of these events and we know what goes into it. GREAT JOB, and thank you for letting us be a part of it; we will be back next year as a sponsor,” Mark Jameson, Executive Franchise Support & Development, FastSigns International, Inc., Carrollton, Texas.
“It was fun and insightful, and great seeing not only the other printers, but also the vendors who support the organization and continue to support smaller printers,” said Debbie Billings, President of Graphic Creations, Inc., Knoxville, Tenn. “They had some very good things to show specific to our size and markets.”
For more feedback from attendees, visit the NAQP online community at http://connect.napl.org/naqp.
Among the highlights of the annual event were the keynote presentations by guitar virtuoso/motivational speaker Mike Rayburn and brand awareness expert David Avrin, author of the breakout marketing book, It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You; the very active Supplier Showcase, which was well attended throughout the conference; and the fascinating hands-on session on 3-D printing.
In what was undoubtedly a first for an industry conference keynote, Rayburn received three standing ovations during his presentation. “We had an instantaneous commitment from a sponsor to bring Mike Rayburn back for a return performance next year, and, yes, he was really that good,” said conference Co-Chair Craig Dellinger, President of New Haven Print, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Dellinger, Co-Chair Charlene Sims, President, The Master’s Press, Dallas, Texas, and their conference planning committee built a program based on NAQP members’ input and feedback from previous events. It emphasized marketing and growing your business, featuring panels and breakouts on topics ranging from adding new services such as wide-format printing, 3-D printing, cross-media campaigns, and signage, to effective business practices in prospecting, sales, marketing, and website business generation.
“It is always great to work on a project for a year and then hear comments from many such as, “This was the best conference I have ever attended,” says Sims. “According to the surveys, calls, and emails I have received, our attendees felt that the speakers, the entertainment, and the breakouts were all excellent?and the vendors who participated also really enjoyed the conference and found the sessions of great benefit to them as well.”
Also drawing praise was the closing session, where business coach Nancy Proffitt recapped the top conference takeaways and offered a plan for attendees to implement the ideas in their own businesses. “Nancy Proffitt was able to set a stage for attendees to wrap up all they learned and leave with action plans to start on Monday morning,” notes Sims. “I have received feedback that many actually did this and are already profiting from attending the conference.”
Attendees who missed any of the sessions, or want to hear them again, can download free audio recordings of the conference proceedings. Non-attendees may purchase individual sessions on an à la carte basis. Call (800) 642-6275, Ext. 6345, for more information.
The conference also provided time for exploring the dining and nightlife venues at the fabulous Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Conference Center, site of the event, and enjoying an optional trip to a highly entertaining evening performance at the storied Grand Ole Opry. With a Music City theme, the 2013 conference featured a giveaway of a Yamaha acoustic guitar, which was won by Joe Calagaz of Calagaz Printing in Mobile, Ala.
The 2014 NAQP Owners Conference will be held Sept. 25-28, 2014, in Chicago, immediately preceding GRAPH EXPO.