Carden Park made delegates feel even more part of the ACPME family 


#ACPMEConf19 saw our supportive network feel more ‘family’ like than ever. We waved an emotional farewell to our long-standing chair, Simon Hampton-Matthews, and to other ACPME stalwarts. Our American guest, Naomi Quiram, summed Carden Park up nicely. ‘You guys are simply wonderful. I’ve been made to feel so, so welcome. You’re so professional – from the quality and variety of your sessions to the Oscar-like awards ceremony. Just Wow! And thank you all.’ Read more below…



What a Keynote! – Humour in the Workplace

Kate Hull Rodgers, speaker, author, coach and international leading authority on the strategic use of humour kicked #ACPMEConf19 off with a raucous, interactive and inspiring introduction to laughter therapy, stress management, communication and networking with a very personal slant.

From the moment Kate took the stage the room was transfixed. While there was science and serious messages about humour and its health and bottom line implications we were all mesmerised by Kate’s side-splitting delivery. It was soon evident why Kate has been resident expert for ITV’s Job Finder, a BBC radio presenter, a business journalist, member of the Professional Speakers Association, an award-winning comedienne and playwright. Some of us had seen her work and personal story in the ITV documentary ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’. Humour certainly was a memorable and thought-provoking way to open a conference.

The ethos was simple – ‘People who have fun, get more done.’ The photos above hint at a fraction of the energy that was in the room. We practiced (and pledged to keep up 5 minutes a day) Kate’s ‘Humourobics’: Blank, Mouth, Eyes, Forehead, Lower Lip, ‘ehs’. And again. Blank, Mouth, Eyes, Forehead, Lower Lip, ‘ehs’. Carl was roped into the act, Simon was promised hair regrowth and Ian (Hickman) smiled so much while centre-stage that he’s thinking of postponing his retirement. At the end, there was a queue for Kate’s business best-seller ‘Pearls of Bizdom’ – which outlines how businesses can go from grit to great! (It’s a great book – I read it in two very long baths.) The conference was underway…

Discussion Groups

Next up were two simultaneous Discussion Groups followed by feedback. The lively and popular groups discussed:
• Pitching in-house creative design services
• Generating income streams and business cases
• Web to Print
• Future innovations

International guest

After the exhibition and lunch we heard from Naomi Quiram, from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Naomi was this year’s representative from the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP+) the US equivalent of our UK network. Natalie spoke about developing a strategic plan, having a mission statement that ties in with your institution and proper staffing. She advised paying attention to the basics, nurturing relationships with your customers, staff and suppliers, and letting the creativity flow.

Platinum Sponsor Suppliers’ Showcase: 1

Terry Garvey from EFI, Ashley McConnell and Adrian Brooks from Konica Minolta were next up. They gave us their vision of the future – explaining where their companies might help our members move forward.

Adding Photography to your Creative Suite

Martin Parker, Robert Gordon University, and Stephen McCann, University of Glasgow, then gave presentations about what adding photography to your creative profile can do. The knowledgeable pair briefly outlined how both their teams operate and suggested how those without photographers might look at adding photography to their offering.


AGM and Platinum suppliers

The second day started with the AGM. A new Board was duly elected and there was some discussion about the direction of ACPME over the next twelve months.

Marketing – Friend or Foe?

Angela Truby, Operations Manager in Student Services at Loughborough University was next to present on the topic of developing effective working relationships with colleagues in Marketing.

Bringing over 20 years’ experience, Angela brimmed with passion for HE and Marketing. Her presentation centred on a successful, but challenging collaboration between Loughborough University’s Marketing Team and their in-house Creative and Print Services.

Angela interwove this powerful real-world example with views on how Marketers think, the HE recruitment landscape and the BIG things that HE Marketers and our members have in common: • they too answer to everyone and can please no one • they also love a challenge • they too can seldom say no (it’s not an option) – even to ridiculous deadlines • they too have a ‘can-do’ attitude • they also have to respond to the constantly shifting sands in HE.

Angela’s advice was clear. TALK TO EACH OTHER. Build relationships. Be honest and explain what it’s like for you, what the constraints are and where the pinch points are – but know Marketing will not want to hear it. Bond over the fact you have multiple masters and can please no one. Know that each of you would, given a choice, not have it this way! And if all else fails buy them a drink! Or get them to buy you one!

Platinum Sponsor Suppliers’ Showcase: 2

Jim Whittington from Antalis, Kevin O’Donnell from Xerox, Ben Gowland from HP, and David Harrison from Sharp ended the morning sessions with their visions of helping ACPME members in the future

How we won Service of the Year 2018

The afternoon session began with a presentation from Lee Johnstone, Digital Graphic Designer, from University of Sheffield. Lee shared the secret of their success with the rise of digital design over the past three years, from starting with no digital knowledge to creating a new and expanding departmental income stream.

His talk reflected a positive attitude and desire to learn. He was honest and funny including a short segway off-piste where he explained how he’d learned about website security the hard way – after infecting a client’s website with malware and undesirable pop-up adverts that displayed ‘items that you would only buy in “special shops” in Bangkok’.

Stripping it Back – Resilient Teams

For the next session we welcomed Billy Dixon, Professional Speaker and (the UK’s first male) Image Consultant.

Billy gave a dynamic, interactive presentation that touched on issues from inner confidence and personal resilience, to presenting yourself to others (see members posing above).

His provocative and entertaining presentation drew upon the extensive experience he has gained working internationally.

Billy dispensed with much of the psychobabble that is associated with the term ‘resilience’, and outlined a simple yet effective tool-kit that can be used by individuals, leaders and teams on a daily basis to develop resilience.

Augmented Reality that brings Print to Life

Tuesday afternoon concluded Ashley McConnell and Adrian Brooks of Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK giving an interactive presentation on Augmented Reality. They outlined what Augmented Reality is, some of the current hype, trends and Konica Minolta’s vision for Augmented Print. Who’d have thought we’d be thinking seriously about Pokémon GO?

Their live demonstration had members pointing their phones at the screen and thinking about how marketing innovation using AR could be used at their institutions – in print and beyond.

ACPME Creative and Print Awards

Tuesday evening marked the climax of the ACPME calendar with our 2019 Creative and Print Awards.


ACPME Print Village

On Wednesday morning Ian Wilcox, of the University of Southampton, led a hands-on large format workshop where delegates tried all sorts of print applications to get the most out of their equipment and identify areas for new business. Aspects of signage and t-shirt production were showcased along with tools and advice from a supplier.

Grand Raffle and Closing Feedback

A fantastic few days concluded with the Grand Raffle (our thanks once again to our sponsors for their generosity) and an opportunity to raise any thoughts, queries and suggestions.

Roll on Belton Woods in 2020. Carden Park is going to be a hard act to follow.


The members of the ACPME express their sincere thanks to all sponsors for exhibiting and/or sponsoring activities during our conference.

The exhibition was brimmed with products and services that were of direct interest to our delegates – the purchasing decision makers from the university creative and print sector.

We hope the networking allows our suppliers to develop and grow their business and look forward to welcoming them to #ACPMEConf20 at Belton Woods in Lincolnshire.

Here’s what a few delegates had to say about ACPMEConf19…

Find out more

To discuss membership, sponsorship opportunities or annual conference please contact 
Jennie Mort, ACPME Administrator: 01527 893675 |
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