We’ve crossed the finish line and the 2019 National Postal Forum (NPF) is complete.
The theme for this year’s show was “Growth Driven: Fueling Your Mailing and Shipping Success”. In today’s economy, “information” is more than currency, it’s also the fuel. That was evident in the speeches, the classes, and on the exhibit hall floor.
The keynote address by Postmaster General (PMG) Megan Brennan and Chief Customer/Marketing Officer Jakki Strako focused on the power of the Informed Platform – combining the benefits of Informed Delivery and Informed Visibility to enhance the digital and physical experience of prospects and customers. In exciting news, PMG Brennan announced that there are now over 16 million Informed Delivery subscribers, with 500,000 people signing up every month.
To demonstrate how omnichannel campaigns work, their presentations followed the journey of “Penny” – a customer looking for a new lamp. Penny’s journey had 4 phases:
- Awareness and desire
- Seek more and evaluate
- Transaction and retention
- Loyalty and recommend
In each phase, digital and physical interactions – including package tracking and delivery – combined to enhance Penny’s experience. This theme continued on the exhibit hall floor. There were numerous vendors with software solutions to allow mailers and print/mail service providers to integrate mail, email and social media into a unified campaign.
On the equipment side, instead of noisy meters and inserters, the most visible devices were parcel lockers. While most vendors were targeting the needs of companies handling inbound deliveries for employees and students, some exhibitors were offering combined inbound/outbound solutions with universal carrier access.
As in the past, attendees took advantage of the educational sessions, including the 5 presentations we delivered. Whether it was 8:00 in the morning, or the last session of the day, people actively participated in the classes. People were interested and involved, asking questions and challenging assumptions.
An exciting difference this year was the number of younger attendees. The mailing industry is seeing an aging workforce, and it was promising to see the number of new leaders in their 20s and 30s preparing to take the helm. The future of mail will be in good hands.
The one disappointment was the lack of formal discussion on the state of the USPS. The week before the NPF, PMG Brennan faced tough questioning during a congressional hearing. Right after the NPF ended, the USPS announced their poor financial performance for the 2nd quarter of the 2019 Fiscal Year. It would have been helpful to engage USPS leaders and industry professionals about the challenges, the impact on rates, and viable solutions.
Habitat for Humanity
It was an honor to kick off NPF as the sponsor of a build day with the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity. Despite rainy and muddy conditions, our volunteers braved the elements to help build a home for a deserving family. We had 16 volunteers from 11 states participate this year. Workers climbed scaffolding, nailed siding and installed insulation.
An unexpected treat was being served a hot lunch by the Greater Indy Habitat Young Professionals (GIHYP). This inspirational group seeks to connect socially conscious young professionals to raise awareness, funds, and volunteerism in support of Greater Indy Habitat’s mission of putting love into action to build homes, communities, and hope. You can learn more about their mission and how to donate on the GIHYP website.
In a new tradition, we presented the homeowners with a mailbox. We need to make sure they’re ready to receive their mail as soon as they move in!
Congratulations to the NPF staff for a successful show, and we look forward to seeing you in Orlando in 2020!