The 81st annual INMA World Congress officially kicked off on Monday morning at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York City. More than 300 delegates filled the rows of the conference room, all here for the same thing: how to survive and thrive in the digital media revolution.

INMA President and CEO Michael Phelps said this is not a “business as usual” conference, and he warned attendees that the topics covered may be uncomfortable at times. But the clock is ticking, he said, and the time for change is now.

“This change needed to start five minutes ago,” Phelps said.

The diversity of the delegates present served as a reminder that the print-to-digital transformation is happening worldwide. Industry leaders from 47 different countries stood one by one during a roll call of nations to be recognised for attending. From Argentina to Venezuela, transformation and innovation is happening. The pace and the shape of the change may vary, Phelps said, but the direction is clear.

Over the coming days, speakers will discuss tactics that companies across the world are implementing to keep up with the changing times, said Ravi Dhariwal, vice president of INMA.

“If you get some of that and you meet some friends, I think this journey to New York will be well worth it,” Dhariwal said.