We just returned from the National Postal Forum in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the first in-person NPF since 2019 – about 3 years. It was nice to get to see three-dimensional people again. Some of the highlights:
The Postmaster General
The Forum kicked off Monday morning with a keynote speech from Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General. Compared with earlier appearances from the PMG, he was much more personable and made some self-deprecating jokes, telling the crowd they could finally see for themselves that he didn’t really have horns and a tail.
The content of the speech wasn’t much new – a harsh indictment of the PMGs before him, the mess he was left with, and how his 10-year plan will be responsible for all good things that may happen at the Postal Service. He’s brought light to dark dingy postal facilities (he literally said, “Let there be light.” We think he was kind of kidding). He’s purged air from under-capacity trucks. Light good, air bad. The talk was very much focused on packages, with barely a mention of mail. I don’t think he ever said anything about Informed Delivery or Visibility.
PMG DeJoy also was out mingling with the little people more than he has done in the past, mingling at receptions, and on the exhibit hall floor. He even stopped by the SnailWorks booth, introducing himself as, “I’m the Postmaster General of the United States.” He seemed genuinely interested in understanding our business. The name “SnailWorks” may take some time to grow on him.
The Exhibit Hall
The exhibit hall was smaller than past Forums, but not tiny. There were fewer large booths, as I think folks are still trying to feel their way around a new post-pandemic world. Still, most segments of the industry were represented, and the hall was crowded. We also sensed a younger crowd – maybe the next generation making its presence known.
Workshops were numerous, as in past Forums, and well attended. The range of topics went from general marketing to technical topics like seamless acceptance. The SnailWorks team presented sessions on political mail and how Seamless Acceptance and Informed Visibility work together. You can access a list of presentations here, and if any are of interest of you, just let us know and we can get you a copy of the presentation.
This year’s NPF was held in downtown Phoenix, AZ. The downtown district is packed with restaurants and within easy walking distance of the baseball and basketball arenas. If you have ever thought of visiting Phoenix, we can heartily recommend it…in February! It was hot – a dry heat to be sure, but 104 degrees is hot regardless of the humidity. Still, it was great to finally be together with our industry friends.