#ACPMEConf22 showed, once again, that we’re definitely Stronger Together




It’s always great to meet up with colleagues from the ACPME – whether it’s at annual conference or at regional meetings. After the isolation of several COVID-19 years, seeing old friends and making new ones in-person was a much-needed tonic. 


An inspiring keynote to kick things off – ‘Rising Stronger’ 

After a formal Opening of Conference from Stephen McCann, ACPME Chair, we welcomed Dr Andy Cope back to the ACPME stage. Those who attended the conference at Dunston Hall will remember Andy’s passion for life. The Dr of Happiness, well-being expert and ‘recovering academic’, gave another evidence-based session ‘with the big words surgically removed and replaced with common sense’. He presented us with doable principles in a fun way.

Andy explained the challenge as quite straight-forward – to raise your ‘new normal’ to world class. He suggested that ‘Rising Stronger’ is about showing up to work as your best self. Lose the doubt, let go of any negativity and come back fully charged. Presenting to slides like ‘Don’t be a dick!’ had the room chuckling and contemplating how they approach life, including how we can unmute ourselves in real life to join the 2% who are happiest and most successful.

#ACPMEConf22 was underway and in high spirits after Andy’s inspiring introduction.

Getting to know you

After the Exhibition opened, delegates had a chance to introduce themselves and to meet industry colleagues in a short ‘Getting to know you’ session. This added to the newcomers’ welcome and provided an opportunity to touch on some of the challenges and developments at units since the last face-to-face event. 

Suppliers’ Showcase 1

Before lunch we heard from three of our Platinum sponsors. David Bowering, EPS Channel Sales Manager, was first to speak. He presented under the title ‘Does your Print Department have Vision?’, before handing over to Malcolm Smith who explained how Konica Minolta Business Solutions can ‘Ignite Print Possibilities’. Mike Collins, from Antalis UK, followed with a case study from ACPME members Cardiff Metropolitan University about ‘Refreshing and refurbishing interiors with Koala décor materials’.

Suppliers’ Showcase 2 

After lunch we heard from the rest of our Platinum sponsors. Kevin O’Donnell of Xerox UK was characteristically lively. His presentation ‘Going Beyond CMYK’ talked about driving effective, personalised communications to acquire, inform and serve students. Next we heard from a new sponsor Joanne Bass, MD from XL Displays. Jo explained how ‘Customer Experience’ is what sets her company apart. The session concluded with Nick Daniels of Ricoh UK presenting on ‘Marketing Technology in Higher Education’ with a take on ‘How to communicate effectively throughout the student journey’.

Something new: Breakout sessions 

We’re always thinking about how to make sessions as relevant as possible to all delegates. This year, in an effort to continue to grow our creative membership and to allow our print specialists to stay focused on what matters most to them we split into breakout specialist groups.


In this session, Mark Wood from Dynamix Training gave our designers, photographers and videographers a tour of Photoshop and exploring the application’s interface, smart work-flows and a demonstration of how Camera Raw data can be preserved all the way to print production, via Adobe InDesign. Mark also touched on cloning and healing tools of smart objects, creating monochrome images and composites and soft proofing with an emphasis on non-destructive editing. His presentation concluded by highlighting new features, and developments currently in public beta. 


Anthony Midgley and Leighann Carlton from the Procurement Unit at the University of Leicester opened the print breakout. Together they shared tips on dealing with colleagues in procurement departments – in particular for fleet and print room equipment. Useful to hear how processes work best from another point of view. Helen Clarke, Print and Post Services Manager from Loughborough University followed sharing highlights from their procurement journeys.  

After the break, Dawn Reid from the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) gave an interesting talk on Health & Safety. Yes, you read that right! Dawn highlighted some of the considerations and regulations that occur when working in the printroom and around campus. She explained how the BPIF can help with templates and advice to save time and to minimise risk – asking members to share their experiences and answering
any queries.


Not a dry eye in the house! Andy Grant keynote: ‘Thriving Through Adversity’ 

Tuesday started with an uplifting and deeply emotional keynote.

Andy Grant explained how he’s been through more than most have in their lifetime. From losing his mother aged 12, to joining the Royal Marines, to serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, to being injured by an IED, becoming medically discharged and consequently making the decision himself to have his leg amputated.

Andy shared his story about how he went on to become the world’s fastest single leg amputee in the world over 10km by clocking a time of 37:17 and climbed some of the world’s highest mountains. He explained that life will put you in all kinds of challenging situations, but it need not determine you as a person – it’s how you react to these challenges.

Round table discussions 

We know from previous conference feedback that members particularly value discussion sessions.

Once again, we broke the delegates up into their specialist groups. Three round table discussions happened simultaneously followed by
group feedback.

An afternoon of breakout sessions


In this session, Andrew Devis from Dynamix Training looked at some of the creative tools in Adobe Premiere Pro that can save time when dealing with audio issues. He moved on to looking at the colour grading tools which help give impact to the productions. 

After the break , Andrew introduced After Effects and looked at design considerations when using AI files in AE, how to animate them and some of the tools available. Then, he showcased tools for text animation, concluding with motion tracking, mask tracking and camera tracking.


In the first print session Jonathan Tame introduced Two Sides Paper and presented on the ‘Myths and facts’. He explained how ACPME are members of Two Sides with access to sustainability facts and support materials. 

Several member presentations followed. Richard Ashdown, Cardiff Metropolitan University  talked through how their team won print Service of the Year (2019!), before Ian Hickman and Glyn Johnson from the University of Leicester detailed how wide format printing has transformed both their business financials and Leicester’s campus. Hard not to be bowled-over by the scale and impact of their endeavours.

The print session concluded with Brendan Perring from Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA) giving an insightful presentation on ‘Twinned industries’. Brendan brought us up-to-date with industry trends and offered his thoughts on how collaboration between commercial and in-house print can foster mutual success.


Again we subdivided for a creative ‘Show and Tell’ and for the print managers to experience a practical, hands-on session. 

While the photographers and video producers geeked out over their ‘can’t live without kit’ and had the opportunity to try out what each other had brought and discuss it’s merits, Gethin Herbert of Cardiff Metropolitan University and Mike Collins, of Antalis UK ran a hands-on print session providing expert tips to boost members’ confidence working with vinyl and films.

We’d love to know what delegates thought of these focused specialist break outs.

Keynote: ‘Creative Cloud Express: Getting the mostfrom Adobe’s Creative Suite’

It’s always good to finish with a crescendo. Who better to bring the conference to a close than ACPME favourite Tony Harmer. After helping us at two virtual events through the pandemic is was fantastic to welcome The Design Ninja back to the #ACPMEFamily in-person.

As always, Tony blew our minds, lifting the hood on Adobe’s Creative Cloud to reveal the phenomenal power of Creative Cloud Express. In another whistle-stop tour, Tony revealed the easy scheduling tool, a world of social media (and other) templates, mobile removal of backgrounds in photos, easy conversion to gigs, mobile video editing… all harnessing the power of full Adobe programs using the cloud with sophisticated library integration. 

A fantastic Awards ceremony

Tuesday evening saw the highlight of the ACPME calendar. Dressed in our finest togs, we celebrated the best of in-house design, photography and print. A delicious meal started the evening, then as the music started and all eyes faced the stage to see who’d scooped this year’s plaudits and would be able to call their team ‘award-winning’.

Find out who scooped the awards here

The six categories:

  • Service of the Year – sponsored by Antalis
  • Best In-House Design – sponsored by Xerox UK
  • Best In-House Photography – sponsored by Konica Minolta Business Solutions
  • Best In-House Printed Product – sponsored by XL Displays 
  • Best In-House Wide Format – sponsored by Ricoh UK 
  • Best In-House Online Production – sponsored by EFI / EPS

We’d like to thank our 2022 sponsors

Find out more

To discuss membership, sponsorship opportunities or annual conference please contact 
Jennie Mort, ACPME Administrator: 01527 893675 | admin@acpme.ac.uk
Contact address: Seven Elms, Dark Lane, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire B96 6HB

Or feel free to contact members of our Board
Details here

The Association of Creative and Print Managers in Education, a not for profit private company, limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales No. 10244428. Registered address: Seven Elms, Dark Lane, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire B96 6HB