The National Postal Forum is an event like no other.
The annual conference, also known as NPF, is the mailing and shipping industry’s largest meeting, bringing together USPS executives and more than 4,000 business customers for major announcements, topical discussions, informational sessions and more.
Here are some stories from this year’s NPF, which concluded May 9 in San Antonio.
‘We’re always looking for an opportunity’
Race Gordon is a postal inspector whose usual job is to protect the mail, but he took on a somewhat different role at NPF:
Gordon, who is based in Laredo, TX, helped staff the Inspection Service’s display, where he and his colleagues spent time talking to business customers and answering their questions.
A common query: What kinds of items can be mailed?
“Those questions are easy because you can just refer to the Customer’s Mailing Guide,” he said.
Gordon is glad the Inspection Service is part of NPF because the agency’s educational work is an important part of its mission.
“We’re always looking for an opportunity to recruit and to tell people about the work we do,” he said.
‘Are you my next victim?’
Step aside, Pat Sajak. Move over, Alex Trebek.
Meet Valerie Joyner, NPF’s very own “game show” host.
Joyner, a Pittsburgh-based contractor, spent much of her time at NPF enticing customers to play Package Path, a video feature at the USPS booth in the exhibit hall.
“Are you my next victim — er, contestant?” Joyner, wielding a microphone, asked members of the crowd one day this week.
In between rounds, Joyner touted Informed Delivery and encouraged passersby to ask postal employees for details about the mail notification service.
Does Joyner use Informed Delivery herself?
“Oh, yes!” she said. “I still get my paychecks in the mail the old-fashioned way, so knowing that it’s going to show up in my box is a huge relief every time.”
‘We quickly sold out’
San Antonio District Retail Manager Yvette Guzman, an NPF newbie, started preparing early for her first forum.
Before the event kicked off, she helped design the Postal Service’s booth and choose the inventory.
Her selections proved to be wise.
“We quickly sold out of the Disney Villains stamp art,” she said.
Guzman also designed the three NPF stamp cancellations — one for each full day of the conference.
The Texas native has spent all 33 years of her career in San Antonio and encouraged visitors to check out the city, which is marking its 300th anniversary this year.
“I’ve been telling everyone who is here for the first time to visit the Alamo and explore the rich history,” she said.
‘People are really excited’
Sr. Sales Executive Todd Scroggie joined USPS less than eight years ago, but he already has five postal forums under his belt.
Scroggie and his team are experts who can answer practically any question customers ask, whether it’s about mailing, shipping — or the digital feature that was the star of this year’s show.
“People are really excited about Informed Delivery,” said Scroggie, who helped staff the USPS booth in the exhibit hall.
“Our business customers are excited about direct mail campaigns. Personally speaking, I travel a lot, so it’s nice to be able to check my mail when I’m away.”
While he enjoyed his time in Texas, the Detroit-based Scroggie already is looking forward to next year’s NPF in Indianapolis.
“That’s my backyard,” he said.