By Andy Slawetsky, Industry Analysts – IBPI held their regional annual conference in Clearwater FL June 6 – 8, bringing about 80 people together for an update on the association, networking and some industry knowledge.
The first night started with a nice welcome reception put on by some of the sponsors. ESP/Ametek, Polek & Polek, Katun and several others took care of the meals in exchange for an invitation and time to sit with each of the dealers.
The next morning began with breakfast leading into opening remarks by IBPI Executive Director, Mark Grice. Mark took over the position in Oct. 2016 and this was his second of these annual meetings. Wearing his new What’s Happenin’ hat, Mark took the stage and kicked it off.
Mark laid out the meeting and explained how the morning event would work. IBPI had set up a speed dating session, where event sponsors were set up at tables and dealers rotated through them, providing each vendor with face time with every dealer at the event. After 15 minutes, Mark would let everyone know it was time to move along and the group would rotate.
To ensure dealers participated, each had to have a card stamped by the vendor. To REALLY ensure dealers participated, dealers had to collect all stamps to have their rooms paid for.
This is another unique part of the conference; IBPI covered the rooms for their dealers (so long as they participated in the event). I don’t know of another organization that does this.
IBPI had several guest speakers on hand to break up the day, including me. I presented my What’s Happenin’ in Print industry overview, something I love doing in front of groups like this.
This is a truly amazing association; one that all dealers would benefit from joining. And, it’s essentially free! After a small one time fee to join, dealers receive rebates at the end of the year. After a year or two, the rebates more than cover the initiation fee. And from then on, the rebates go right back to the dealers.
With 400+ members, IBPI uses its size to leverage vendors into proving best pricing to its dealers. The savings are real, all published in a binder that was distributed at the meeting. You’re probably doing business with several IBPI partners already. Signing up with them will get you better pricing. End of story.
There are a lot of great groups and associations that you should join. This one is a no-brainer. Your joining fee is recouped quickly and you will get better pricing from companies you’re already working with. You’ll also get a chance to mingle and network with your peers each year, receive product and program updates and learn about new vendors you may not have worked with before. Even attending the conference won’t cost you a dime.
This meeting was an eye opener and I encourage those of you reading this who might not be members to check them out. IBPI offers a program that every dealer will find useful for a variety of reasons. You’ll also get best pricing on everything you buy from them. Click here to learn more about them.
I appreciate the opportunity to attend and present to this great group of dealers and I look forward to seeing you all next year, if not sooner!