International Molded Fiber Association
Greetings and Happy New Year!
We are rapidly approaching our 22nd International Molded Fiber Association Seminar which takes place at the Gaylord Hotel near Washington, DC in National Harbor, Maryland from March 6 – 8, 2019. IMFA has a dedicated Seminar Programming Committee comprising of myself, Joe Grygny, Paul Carter, Hans Karper, Mitch Rock and Alan Goodin. We have held multiple planning meetings throughout the last six months and have put together what promises to be an even better program and venue than last year, which in itself was a record event for us. Most speakers have been confirmed details will be posted on our website soon.
Last year we introduced breakout sessions, which allowed for a panel of topic experts and a less formal environment, where attendees could interact with the panel. This was extremely successful and received overwhelming support, so we will once again have breakout sessions in 2019. This year we are introducing a third breakout session and attendees will have a choice between two topics per breakout timeslot. The topics will be linked to the speaker presentations and will allow for a continued discussion on the presenters material.
For those of you who are facing the current PFSA challenges, whilst we can’t promise any magic wand, there will be some very credible industry individuals that will be touching on this at the seminar. There will also be a breakout session dedicated to this issue.
We are excited to announce the IMFA Student Packaging Contest which will see them competing for best design using molded fiber. Packaging engineering students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonee, Wisconsin, and Rutgers University in New Jersey were provided with Tiki lamps from the Lamplight Company in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and Motorcycle parts from the Harley Davison Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The winner of this challenge will be awarded a trip to the 22nd International Molded Fiber Association Seminar to present their design. We believe that engaging packaging schools and students in this type of activity will certainly enhance our industry in the future.
It is annual dues time and I encourage all members and potential members to get your 2019 dues paid so that you can be issued a member specific code which allows you to register for the seminar at a discount of over $800.00 per delegate. Our system is now automated with online seminar registration and it will not allow member rates and discounts unless you have paid your current membership dues.
Our new automated inquiry/job board is up on our website and working very well. Every single inquiry to IMFA now gets posted on our “Job Page” on the website and each time a new job/inquiry is posted, an automated email system distributes each inquiry to every IMFA Member.
Our World Map of Members services continue to attract considerable traffic and again, members are receiving huge exposure here. Our website continues to average over 1,300 visits per month consistently each month since the launch of our new site in April 2018 – this is a 160% increase compared to the previous website.
I encourage everyone registering for the seminar to make use of the hotel link on the seminar page to make their hotel bookings. A huge factor influencing venue costs is the number of hotel rooms that the seminar can book. The cost of the seminar and meeting rooms increases if we can’t show a history of strong hotel room bookings. Attendees who book directly and by not using the IMFA Seminar page link, do not get included in the numbers we take to next years venue negotiations. The impact is significant, so I appeal to all of you to book through our link. Those wanting to extend their stay at the hotel to Friday and Saturday night are encouraged to book soon as the weekend availability is very limited.
Our 2018 seminar attracted 120 international attendees, and we are expecting to surpass that number in 2019. This is a very unique and effective networking opportunity that should not be passed up by anyone in the molded fiber industry. Please help us by sharing the seminar banner and URL that appears below. It would be great if you could include it in your outgoing emails for the next few weeks.
I look forward to meeting up with many of you in March at our seminar.