Content-Rich Annual Conference Explores ‘21st Century Economics’
NPES members attending the 2006 Annual Conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida last month were treated to a business-intensive agenda featuring more speakers and ultra-current content than any previous event has afforded.
With guidance from the Association’s Programs and Meetings Committee – Bruce Goodwin, John Stewart, Steve Fullerton, and Elinor Midlik – the Conference program was designed to engage members in lively dialogue with an array of industry leaders assessing and driving new business models of print.
The program was enhanced by outstanding representation from the printing company community. An interactive printer panel discussion, featuring three executives assembled and moderated by NAPL’s Joe Truncale, was complemented by presentations by leaders of two highly successful firms: VistaPrint and Padgett. The ensuing dialogue between printers and members of the manufacturing community was considered by many attendees to be a high-light of the conference.
Kicking off the proceedings on Sunday, November 5th, noted Futurist and Economist Dr. Lowell Catlett, Regents Professor at New Mexico State University, delivered his keynote address, entitled 21st Century Economics. Combining macroeconomic perspectives with abundant humor and a storyteller’s approach, Catlett entertained and inspired the audience with startling insights into global consumer trends. His outlook was far-reaching, yet accessible to all, thanks to an arsenal of examples from daily experience (iPod, cell phones, Starbucks, eBay, TiVo, and many others). Catlett’s portrait of the modern world depicts vast populations of consumers more empowered than ever before to decide what they want, when they want it, and at what price. Luxuries that were coveted by previous generations have become the routine necessities of today; the impact on industry is enormous; workforces become more mobile and differentiated; and countless opportunities arise that transcend geopolitical borders.
Immediately following the keynote, Chris Connors of VistaPrint took the podium and described his company’s dazzling path to success. In practical terms accessible to anyone with a footing in our industry, Connors provided a compelling confirmation of Catlett’s 50-mile high view. VistaPrint has succeeded in landing and satisfying seven million customers by empowering them to order print at any time of day or night – designed exactly as they want it, at extremely attractive price points. As Connors explained, VistaPrint’s strong organic growth from quarter to quarter stems in part from its strong brain trust in marketing and I.T. staff who enable the company to attract, assemble and fulfill over 15,000 orders each day.