2014 National Postal Forum – March 16-19

The 2014 National Postal Forum was held at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor Maryland, a few miles south of Washington, DC.

The National Postal Form is the premier event for anyone involved in the mailing industry or any business that relies on mail as a vital part of their marketing mix.

The theme for the National Postal Form this year was “Stronger Together”. The focus is on bringing value through education, collaboration and new innovations in technology. 

With over 150 workshops across 21 specific categories, round table and other specialized sessions, as well as Postmaster Patrick Donahoe’s Opening Session and a large exhibit area to explore, a lot of information was packed into these 4 days.

This is the first time I’ve been to the National Postal Forum. I have heard about this event for many years but I never took the time until now.  I’m glad I finally made it. 

 I had the NPF brochure with all the classes and sessions for at least a few months but I had only picked out the first day of classes. I decided I would pick out the rest of my agenda once I arrived and got a better idea of what to expect. Well, it was hard to pick out the sessions, as there were so many choices plus no class was repeated. I picked out most of the sessions later the first day but still left a few time slots open until the last minute.

 The classes were slotted into 4 overall categories. Marketing, Preparation & Support, Professional Development & Specialized. I ended up attending 17 sessions and enjoyed most of them. The classes I attended were all very well organized and informative. Printer stations were handy to print out slides show presentations for each class if you wanted and a nice NFP app was made available for smart phones, which I used constantly. 

Of course the mailing industry is an older industry and the demographics were to be expected, not many young attendees. I met many attendees that have been going to this event for 15- 20 years. But unlike some of the other industry or printing events I’ve been to in the last few years, this event actually had an optimistic feel to it. I also found networking opportunities every day and met a lot of nice folks. The event was topped off on Wednesday night with a dinner show and a concert featuring the group America.

This event was well worth attending and being an active member of a PCC it was truly a valuable resource. If you’ve ever thought about attending the National Postal Forum but haven’t made the commitment yet, I encourage you to take the step. 

The next one will be held in Anaheim, California, look for more information at npf.org