#ACPMEConf23 – in line with the theme: we delivered excellence and added value

After months of careful planning, the #ACPMEFamily descended on the Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwickshire, for another memorable ACPME Annual Conference from 4–7 June 2023. Here’s a recap of the wonderful event.



A keynote (and day) focusedon the hot topic of sustainability 

Dr Melanie van de Velde of Big Tree Global kicked Conference off with ‘Lead like a Genius: How to ace sustainability, outgrow
your competitors and transform our world.’  
During her talk Melanie touched on key secrets as to how you can LEAD LIKE A GENIUS to ace sustainability, outgrow the competition and create the best outcomes in helping to fix key global issues. Topics that would tie into the afternoon’s round table discussions on sustainability.


Getting to know you

After the Exhibition opened, delegates had an opportunity to introduce themselves and
to meet industry colleagues with the return of the popular ‘Getting to know you’ session.

Suppliers’ Showcases

Before lunch we heard varied and interesting talks from four of our Platinum sponsors. 

First up was Malcolm Smith from Konica Minolta Business Solutions who encouraged us to ‘See the Potential’. Next came Mike Collins from Antalis who explained ‘How Antalis can help you’ with their range of green products. Emerson Garcia Velasquez of Canon followed with a different take on sustainability titled ‘A Canon Product Security Overview’, before Leyla Lewis & Wendy Hogg gave their presentation ‘Bring your finishing in-house with Duplo’.

After lunch we heard from the rest of our Platinum sponsors. 

Phil Gaskin of Xerox started the session with ‘Take your print centre beyond Web-to-Print’, followed by Joanne Bass of XL Displays who provided a  whistle-stop video of their production capabilities under the banner ‘The Customer is Always Right’. 

David Blenkinsop of Ricoh stuck closely to our theme with ‘Building sustainability into the manufacture and delivery of print Solutions’.

Mark Boulter of Fiery Digital Imaging Ltd and Paul Broerse of eProductivity Software brought the showcases to a close with their take on ‘Delivering Personalised Print’. 

Round table sustainability workshops  

The afternoon saw delegates don their thinking caps. Dr van de Velde introduced her IMPACT Wheel © and set groups the task of using it to identify effective sustainability initiatives. 

Here are some of the bright ideas that the groups suggested:

Anonymous recruitment to avoid unconscious bias eg of minority groups.
Buying local.
‘No mow’ areas.
Signage for braille and other accessibility tools.
Training for people from disadvantaged groups in print and employment opportunities.
Extending the life of equipment eg through improved maintenance.
Replacing sweet machines with fruit bars.
Free health & wellbeing sessions & walks.
Recruitment fairs in local communities.
Supporting food banks and community gardens.
Providing support to community to learn skills eg using technology.
Verifying that companies throughout the supply chain pay the living wage at a minimum.
Using AI to recognise and combine orders made by multiple departments to minimise deliveries to campus and related emissions.
Being more inclusive with student bursaries.
Improving health & wellbeing by embedding HR within teams, instead of a separate function.

ACPME hoe-down

Monday evening we donned our Stetsons and cowboy boots. Partners were swung by the hand, galloped down lines and do-si-doed through an energetic couple of hours. If the ice wasn’t already broken it certainly was now


Tuesday started with the ACPME AGM at which several hard-working members of the Board stood down. These included Treasurer Ian Hickman, Chair Stephen McCann and Jon Shears. A new Board was elected and are listed on the inside back cover.  

Working together to deliver brand awareness!

Rob Sullivan, Creative Director, Print & Creative Services, The  University of Sheffield gave a fabulous talk about the business of branding & creativity. He shared brand insights that inform the creative and print process with examples of how his team have successfully managed creative projects.

Hot on Rob’s heels were Paul Atkins, Design Team Leader, Creative and Print Services, Loughborough University and Ian Bates of Firehaus. Their shared talk ‘Progress with Purpose’  told the story of their powerful and effective collaboration when their teams came together to re-brand the university’s Business School.

Breakout sessions

Following their success at Belton Woods, we split into several groups for Tuesday’s sessions. 


In this session, Adam King, Studio Manager, and Steven Abraham, Graphic Designer, from the University of Leicester talked about saving time using design management software – sharing the pros and cons of their experiences and future plans.


How we measure successes and promote internally. Discussions touched on social media, internal marketing, collaboration, business development and stakeholder communication.


Steve Thomas, Lancaster University revisited Flying Drones in the HE Sector. He introduced the topic to those that didn’t attend his SIG on drones and summarised changes to drone flying and technology since the session at Lancaster. 


Over in the print arena, first Richard Ashdown & Gethin Herbert, Cardiff Metropolitan University, discussed customising an online project management tool to schedule work.

Then, Marianne Steel & Nicola Peacock from The Printing Charity explained how they provide practical, emotional and financial support for our industry.

In the last presentation, Ollie Renshaw, Business and Systems Manager, University of Leeds talked about workflow. Ollie explained how his team have automated many processes, highlighting reasons why you need to consider software solutions to drive business efficency.

CREATIVE SESSION  – adding value to your service

In this informative session, Ted Page of Accessible digital documents introduced creating accessible PDFs from Adobe InDesign – from brand guidelines to finished, tested documents.

Ted scratched the surface of this topic, sharing his passion and providing food for thought. 

ACPME Creative + Print Awards

Tuesday evening saw the climax of the ACPME calendar as we celebrated in-house excellence. See below.


On Wednesday morning we subdivided again. This time for a hands-on drone flying experience, led by Steve Thomas and a tour of the University of Warwick’s design and print service. Our thanks to Jo-Ann Wragg, Chris Wood and Mark Udall for hosting.

The final talk of the Conference was delivered by Jonathan Tame from Two Sides. Jonathan spoke about Improving students’ environmental perceptions of print and paper products, rounding off #ACPMEConf23 where we started with sustainability. 

Before delegates said their goodbyes we had the Grand Raffle with prizes kindly donated by our generous sponsors.  Particular congratulations to Helen Clarke, who’s name was drawn out of the hat – winning a Canon production scanner, for the team at Loughborough University.

A fantastic Awards ceremony

Tuesday evening saw the highlight of the ACPME calendar as we celebrated the best of in-house design, photography and print. Surprise live opera entertainment, sponsored by Canon, followed a delicious meal, before all eyes faced the stage to see who would be able to call their team ‘award-winning’.

Find out who scooped the awards here

The seven categories:

  • Service of the Year – sponsored by Konica Minolta Business Solutions

  • Best In-House Design – sponsored  by EFI / EPS

  • Best In-House Photography – sponsored by XL Displays

  • Best In-House Printed Product – sponsored by Duplo International 

  • Best In-House Wide Format – sponsored by Antalis UK 

  • Best In-House Online Production – sponsored by Xerox UK 

We’d like to thank our 2023 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