Two of the most difficult questions as President and CEO of Xplor: What is Xplor and why should I become a part of it?
Seems odd as one would think that as the President/CEO of the association for the last seven years the words would just roll off the tip of my tongue. Many times they don’t.
I belong to several associations, mainly to get information, education and to keep abreast of what others are doing. One association in fact is “an associations for associations” but anyone can belong to an association.
What makes Xplor different? It is a community, not just an association to belong to. It is a place where someone can get the information and support they need to excel at their jobs. Where end users can their share experiences with each other, interface with vendors and find the solutions that drives their business success and makes their life easier.
For newcomers, it is a place to learn and be mentored. For seasoned professionals, a place to expand their knowledge and professional network. Xplor is more than a name, it is a feeling, a level of comfort that you have because you know you are part of a community.
So, don’t take it from me, listen to what others say…
Why I Keep Coming Back to Xplor! – by Pat McGrew, M-edp, CMP
When I mention Xplor to industry colleagues I generally get one of two reactions. The first is “I’ll see you at the next Global!” The other is “You mean Xplor is still around?” I want to talk about both reactions for a moment. I’ve been an Xplor member for more than 25 years, earned my edp certification in 1992 and my Master edp certification in 2011. I’ve presented at most of the Xplor global meetings for the last two decades, and co-chaired the conference with Scott Baker in 2011. You might look at that last sentence and think – “Well, sure Pat stays involved because she is an Xplor groupie!”
You wouldn’t be far wrong, but let me tell you why.
Every year since I have been involved with Xplor I have learned. I have gained information that I use almost immediately. I have met people who have become life-long resources. If I have a tough AFP question I have a network of people that I can reach out to who are always happy to help. If I hit a wall on a workflow problem, need a recommendation of a print stream viewer, or need an introduction to an organization I haven’t work with, there is always an Xplor member ready to extend their hand and walk me to the door.
Over the years we’ve massaged our emphasis and grown beyond just the bills and statements we originally discussed. We’ve stretched to include electronic document delivery and direct mail. We’ve grown to include market trends and management issues. We have sought out the best presenters from the user community and the vendor community.
Xplor, as an association, has done all of this in the face of dramatic changes in our industry. In the 1980s and 1990s as the association was growing we hosted an exhibition that was well supported by industry vendors and THE place to introduce new products and services. As times changed and big show floors were harder to support Xplor partnered with some of the best shows in the industry, but in the end came back to a dedicated education conference format. Through all of the changes the core education mission has not changed, and is stronger today than it has ever been.
If you haven’t been to an Xplor conference in a while, this is a good year to come back. It’s a strong agenda with strong presenters and dedicated track chairs making sure that you will get a high return on your investment to attend. If you have never been to an Xplor conference, you owe it to your professional development to come to the best place to take in the smorgasbord of offerings that cover technical, marketing, design and management topics from people who are daily practitioners.
Come home to Xplor. We’ll make it worth your time!
Pat is the Production Mail Evangelist for HP IHPS.
Follow Pat on Twitter