Inspired at the IPG Spring Conference 2019

It was fantastic to attend the IPG Conference this year, getting insight from industry leaders, meeting a variety of people, exhibiting and of course ending with the glamourous IPG Awards! We were also very proud to sponsor the Young Publisher of the Year Award this year.

This was the first time Consultant Rhiannon Griffiths has attended this conference but was accompanied by Suzy Astbury our Managing Director who has been attending for 8 years. Having been to a few other conferences, from the start this one had a completely different feel to it and here is why….

The IPG is so unique because all of its members have a common goal; to succeed in publishing whether in fiction, children’s books or academic journals. The conference offers insight and thought leadership on building better relationships with key distributors and retailers. It helps small business’s navigate their way through changing political landscapes and how that might affect their supply chain. Although many of the members and suppliers compete, when they come together at this conference it is with a common goal of learning from their peers, sharing their successes openly to encourage others to be able to grow and develop new skills, buy better and more suitable technology, build better, more strategic partnerships and meet all the key suppliers who can support their businesses to help make it happen. When you go to the IPG Conference you are guaranteed to learn and take at least 10 action points away with you, the next challenge is to find the time to implement them!

We learnt a lot from all the keynote speeches and break-out sessions, but to pick out some takeaways, here are the top ten things we learnt this year…

  1. To ace time management, work smarter, not faster; “done is better than perfect”.
  2. Don’t neglect permission requests – albeit admin heavy, they are a source of revenue without the need for a sales team. Keep a record of all of them, even if they are free!
  3. Using AI for time consuming, repetitive admin tasks can free up more time to be creative and strategic, freeing up the workforce for higher level tasks.
  4. Use the law of attraction – if you attract good authors, you attract good content, then good staff and you will see business growth.
  5. ‘Millennials’ don’t want to be managed, they want to be led. They want to see how they are working directly towards a greater cause or purpose.
  6. Storytelling is still as prominent as ever, just in different formats. Books are also the foundation for so many different entertainment types.
  7. Diversity and Inclusion starts with the conversation but to make change, every workforce needs to make practical changes. You can also collect data to see what areas need to be addressed.
  8. For all of the issues within Plan S, it is an attempt to come up with a common approach whereas in the past there has been no consistency across funding.  
  9. There is strong growth within eBooks, but there is still and always will be a demand for print books, particularly depending on the type of book.
  10. Always have adventures! If you don’t have the time or means to do something extreme, you can still do ‘microadventures’ – even if it’s just for one day, push yourself out of your comfort zone and you’ll never know where it could lead.

The conference was informative and inspirational with such a warm feel. Everyone is doing such great things for the industry it’s exciting to see what the future brings. We look forward to next year!