John M. Henry, president of Mitchell’s Speedway Press, Oswego, recently returned from attending the executive board meeting of the National Print Owners Association while directing its spring conference in Orlando.
Henry is the board member in charge of putting on the annual event, which drew printing company owners from across North America and from several foreign countries.
The event is an intensive two-day series of seminars, presentations, and workgroups designed to help printing business owners improve their operations to better serve their communities and clients.
Among the areas of emphasis at this year’s conference was improving financial controls, understanding and utilizing new digital technologies, customer service and retention, adding new services such as large format printing and signage or mailing services, marketing new and traditional services and building brand awareness.
Conference sponsors included printing industry heavyweights such as Xerox, Ricoh, FastSigns, and EFI.
“It was a very worthwhile event,” said Henry. “In my opinion, the expertise of the presenters and panelists and the technical and industry knowledge brought to the table by the industry suppliers made this the most valuable industry conference of the year. I hope to use what I learned to serve better my own clients.”
This is the third year of NPOA conferences and in all three years, Henry has been the director of programs and events, in charge of site selection, contract negotiations and planning.
Once a site and date is chosen, he then shifts to finding speakers and vendors.
All this is assisted by a staff of printers, all who volunteer their time for the organization.
Henry was also instrumental in starting the National Print Owners Association and is a founding member.
From its grassroots inception three years ago, NPOA has grown from 19 founding members to more than 400 print shop owners, making it the fastest growing association in the printing industry.
Along with the annual conference, it provides its members with proprietary studies and surveys on technology, pricing, business operations, and many other topics.
It also offers an on-line discussion forum for print shop owners to share ideas and solutions to common problems.
The association’s motto is “By Printers, For Printers” and its members represent the most progressive printing operations in the industry.
Henry said, “We are always looking for ways to grow in our company, ways to challenge ourselves both technologically and intellectually, and the NPOA Conference is a wonderful place to learn how to keep my company growing and changing to meet our clients ever changing needs.”