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PIA/GATF Debuts Converge Conference

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, PA, October 22, 2008 -- The first ever Converge Conference: Variable Data, Web Services, and Cross-Media drew some of the industry's most progressive companies to Phoenix last month.

The new conference replaced two PIA/GATF events: the Variable Data and Personalization Conference and the Workflow Conference. This new, integrated event covered the strategies and approaches necessary for companies to succeed in the role of a Marketing Services Provider (MSP).

PIA/GATF's Vice President of Training, Jim Workman, declared the conference "a great beginning considering the tough economic climate." The conference mix included four keynote addresses, one case study, thirty-eight tactical breakout sessions, and a resource area featuring twenty-two suppliers of leading equipment and software solutions.

The message at the conference was clear: To survive today printers must consider re-branding themselves as dynamic Marketing Services Providers (MSP). Craig Schanbacher from James Tower, one of four keynote speakers, detailed how the Internet has clearly changed the media space. He claimed, "It's all about content, and content is king." Schambacher addressed the attendees with messaging around the significance of personalized content - "be found, be relevant, stay updated." He discussed the value in and issues related to integrating video into cross-media campaigns.

Marjorie Brody of Brody Professional Development resonated with a unique theme, "successful people are connected people." The three values she presented were based on the 3P's: Presence, bearing and aura; Professionalism, knowledge, credibility, and judgment; and Persuasiveness, influencing the course of action. When effectively employed, she says a vendor becomes a trusted advisor and team member.

A highlight of the conference was the presentation by Arthur Middleton Hughes of KnowledgeBase Marketing. Hughes, one of the nation's leading experts on database marketing, offered a simple concept in a humorous style: "personal relevant communication improves customer loyalty and retention." Hughes states that the key to this communication is understanding the mechanics of database marketing. If you can help your customers manage the data through a combination of direct mail, personal contact, and the Web -- you become a valued partner.

The attendee response was favorable and has PIA/GATF already planning a 2009 event. Steve Montgomery from Southwestern ColorGraphics spoke for many when he said, "this is one the best conferences I have ever attended."

The 2009 Converge Conference will be held November 9-11 in Orlando, Florida. For more information contact the PIA/GATF Conference Manager, Jeanette Tuttle-Hamer, at 800-910-4283, ext. 712 or [email protected]