PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA), a global trade association for card manufacturers, personalizers, issuers and suppliers, will host a historic event, ICMA Connect: A Global Virtual Forum & Trade Show on November 4-5, 2020.
Registration is now open for the online event, which will offer a dynamic lineup of interactive experiences, including educational opportunities, networking sessions and roundtable discussions. The "main stage" will feature speakers and panelists, who will discuss trends, technology, the "green" movement, COVID-19's impact on the card market, sustainability trends in the global card market, biometric smart cards and the future of the card industry. Participants will be invited to post questions, take part in polls and chat live with attendees and exhibitors.
Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group LLC, will deliver the keynote address, "The Global Economic Outlook," in which he will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic and business landscape, forecasts for consumer and business spending, as well as how the outcome of the presidential election could impact the economy in 2021 and 2022.
"Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with travel restrictions and social distancing protocols in place, virtual events have become necessary," said Jeffrey Barnhart, executive director and founder of ICMA. "We are excited to unveil the lineup of highly engaging speakers and presentations for ICMA's inaugural virtual event, ICMA Connect. As the leading global trade association for the card industry, it was critical for ICMA to continue to deliver the cutting-edge education and networking opportunities that our members expect."
Winners of the 2020 ICMA Élan Awards of Excellence, which celebrate the pinnacle of design innovation, security and technical achievements in the card industry, will be announced at ICMA Connect. The seven award categories include: Secure Payment Cards, Loyalty, Promotional and Gift Cards, ID and Access Control Cards, Unique Innovation, Personalization & Fulfillment (Product, Service or Project) and Best Supplier or Vendor for a New Product, Service or Innovation.
Earlier this year, ICMA cancelled its 2020 Card Manufacturing and Personalization EXPO amid COVID-19 uncertainties. ICMA's 2021 EXPO will take place on May 17-20, 2021 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.
Sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities for ICMA Connect are now available. For more information and to register, visit icma.com.
Invaluable Networking and Industry Connection
Since 1990, the annual ICMA Card Manufacturing & Personalization EXPO has served as the world's only manufacturing-focused global card conference and exhibition. A global meeting of leading card industry professionals, the EXPO is replete with information sharing and networking opportunities.
Geared to prepare attendees for the changing future of the card industry, presentations feature valuable insight on trends and new technologies, as well as market forecasts. EXPOs regularly feature more than 50 exhibitors, made up of global industry leaders who manufacture and supply materials and services to the card manufacturing and personalization industry.
In addition to its annual EXPO, ICMA offers its members two other important events through the year. CardTREX North America and CardTREX Europe are geographic-specific conferences that focus on regional trends, challenges, opportunities and emerging technologies for card manufacturers, personalizers and suppliers. Each one-and-a-half days long, the conferences are geared to technical and production staff, as well as executives and business owners in the transaction card industry. The conferences also feature tours of local members' plants.
Throughout the year, ICMA hosts live webcasts featuring expert tips from card manufacturers, personalizers and issuers about the card industry. Webcasts are archived and members may access them on ICMA's website. Sample topics include, "European Card Market Statistics," "Card Security: Ink Solutions and Trends in Security Features" and "Effectively Designing and Introducing New Trends in Card Design."
Cutting-Edge Training, Education
ICMA maintains several industry-leading training and education programs about card manufacturing. These include the Advanced Card Education (ACE) program, which provides information on key areas of the industry, as well as online tutorials and webinars on specific topics from card industry experts and leading industry suppliers.
The ACE program is the global standard of recognition for advanced knowledge of the card manufacturing industry. There is a certification level curriculum and designations offered in manufacturing, personalization and advanced technologies. The newest addition to the program is ACE-Commercial, a virtual training series, which offers education to various segments of member companies. The ACE program is designed to offer companies an edge in an intensely competitive field. As the demand for experts grows, continual training and expertise is crucial for individuals—and companies—to stay ahead of the crowd.
ICMA continues to invest in education for its members, keeping them knowledgeable and current on new innovations in the marketplace.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, ICMA is a nonprofit association of card manufacturers, personalizers, suppliers and related industry participants. With more than 200 members globally, ICMA is a resource for industry issues, including the production, technology, application, security and environmental issues of cards. More information is available at icma.com.
Kimberly Tjoumakaris, public relations manager