TLMI to Debut printTHINK Summit Tomorrow
Every other fall, when Labelexpo is held in Brussels instead of Chicago, the North American label industry could count on the Tag and Label Manufacturer’s Institute (TLMI) to head to the Windy City to host a two-day educational conference addressing the latest technical issues facing label producers.
While TLMI will host its September conference in Chicago yet again, what was once known as the TLMI Technical Conference has been completely rebranded and revamped. Now known as the printTHINK Summit, the event will cover more than just the industry’s technical topics, it will also feature an array of business and operations related sessions. Lori Campbell of The Label Printers and Michelle Garza of DantexRBCor, co-chairs of the TLMI Technical Committee, which plans the biennial event, explain the change was made to make the event’s content relevant to both production staff and management-level members of the industry.
“Not wanting to restrict ourselves moving forward, there was conversation about rebranding the conference so it wouldn’t pigeonhole us into technical or business or any particular track,” Campbell says. “It gave us the opportunity to develop content that made sense in any given year.”
The debut edition of the printTHINK Summit, scheduled for Sept. 5-7 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill., will feature three distinct educational tracks — shops and systems; strategy and success; and science and sustainability. Within the three tracks, attendees can select sessions that fall into five topic areas the Technical Committee deemed to be of particular importance. The topic areas are Color Management, Future of Operations, Inkjet, LED versus UV, and Workflow.
Garza explains that in addition to diversifying the content presented at the event, the goal in developing the multiple tracks is to make the conference a learning destination for employees who serve in a variety of roles in the label industry.
“The whole reason for coming up with these different tracks is it allowed us to come up with more content so companies could find value in bringing more personnel,” she says. “In the past, we’ve seen that only the owners would be coming, and not the plant floor personnel or the plant managers. Multiple tracks support more converter needs.”
Campbell explains that the Technical Committee has been hard at work for about a year and a half developing the conference agenda. She says that the committee last met in January to assign co-chairs for specific sessions. The co-chairs were then tasked with brainstorming how to best present the session topic they were assigned, whether it be through a single speaker, a question and answer session, a panel discussion or more of a “talk show” format.
To help keep the content focused, Campbell says the session co-chairs were asked to develop four questions that their session attendees will learn the answers to, then be able to present back to their colleagues once they return from the conference.
“Co-chairs have been really responsible for developing those sessions from the ground floor once they were given the topic and track area,” Campbell says.
While the educational sessions will provide attendees with the opportunity to follow tracks of their choice, the printTHINK Summit will begin with a keynote address for everyone to attend. Dr. Kaihan Krippendorff, a business strategist and founder of Outthinker, a growth strategy consulting firm, will deliver the address titled “Driving Innovation from Within.”
Garza explains that while Krippendorff will be coming from outside the industry, TLMI was attracted to his background as a business leader familiar with innovation and an understanding of how to inspire others to be receptive to new ideas for their own operations.
“Our initial mission, when we were looking for speakers, was ‘futuristic,’” she says. “We needed someone to be in tune with what [the audience is] doing now, what’s coming and how to be open to that.”
Looking forward to the future of the printTHINK Summit, Campbell says that the plan is to continue to build on the foundation that will be established at the debut event. She says the best way to ensure the Summit continues to improve is for attendees to complete the feedback surveys and questionnaires that will be provided. That feedback will allow the Technical Committee to have a strong understanding of the topics TLMI members are most interested in.
“That is our goal,” Campbell says, “to address the concerns of the attendees and to continue to deliver value.”