Although IWCO Direct makes a point to attend the National Postal Forum annually, it had been 14 years since Mail-Gard last exhibited there. We decided to attend again this year after a number of our customers told us they were planning to attend. And when we learned that the speaking proposal we submitted had been accepted, we felt there must be a growing appreciation for the role of business continuity and disaster recovery services amongst the mailing community.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much larger the show had grown since we last attended in 2002, both in size and number of attendees. After our long absence it was refreshing to have so many attendees understand our line of business. In previous years when attending print-to-mail shows our focus was always getting folks to understand the importance of disaster recovery planning. That has certainly changed in recent years. Print-to-mail professionals now understand that business continuity and recovery planning is an important component of their business plans. Our conversations flowed much easier with that understanding already in place.
Great Attendance at Presentation
Beyond the growing appreciation for our line of work, we were also excited to present, “Continuity and Recovery Planning for Critical Mail Applications.” Our session took a high level approach to the need for having a recovery plan in place for print-to-mail operations. We provided a review of best practices for assembling the right team, elements of the plan, how to set expectations, choosing the right recovery partner/vendor and, finally, the importance and details of testing your plan. There was a great turnout for our presentation, including several attendees who nodded in agreement to some of the pitfalls and mistakes some companies make along the way when getting their plan ready for action.
Filling a Need for Recovery Planning Education
Several members of the USPS and numerous attendees remarked that recovery planning was something that was missing from the discussion topics in previous years and they were quite glad to see it included on the agenda. One customer who attended the session mentioned that they learned some new things as well. The overriding theme for the session was that testing is truly the key to getting your plan right. The more you test, and the greater the variety of people involved with the test, the better your plan will work for you when needed.
We couldn’t be happier with our time at the National Postal Forum. Our presentation was well attended, the booth was busy and we were able to share specifics about critical communications recovery planning with a variety of people. While we usually focus on attending recovery and continuity events, being with attendees who understand the print-to-mail aspect and were aware of the need for recovery plans was refreshing and reaffirmed the appreciation for what we do. Mail is not going anywhere anytime soon, and Mail-Gard was happy to show attendees of the National Postal Forum how we can help protect the critical communications aspect of their business.
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