Here’s what a few conference newbies had to say…

Glasgow made just the right impression on delegates


#ACPMEConf17was a fantastic few days. A programme crammed with relevant CPD training, engaging speakers, active participation, fun social events, valuable networking, relevant supplier engagement and something to ensure every delegate returned to their office re-energized, bursting with ideas and feeling part of a supportive network. A hardened few even extended their conference to discover the joys of a distillery. Read more below.


As part of the move to being more inclusive and bringing creatives on board, #ACPMEConf17 kicked-off with Jim Tudor from Future Index. A popular keynote speaker and expert in the area of Higher Education marketing, Jim promised to bring us ‘40 Sparks to inspire print design and creativity’. On the day he brought us ten more. 50 visual examples of thought-provoking and innovative campaigns from within HE and from outside of the sector.

Rather than leaving us quiet in our seats, Jim engaged us in small groups. We discussed examples we liked and what we weren’t so keen on – from a huge Peruvian billboard that actually generated clean drinking water while showcasing staggering innovation and ambition at a research-intensive university, to arresting floor graphics, musical stairs (yes stairs not chairs), magnetic ads and holograms on magazines and examples of effective marketing from close to home. A great way to start the conference and a session that has been commented on as providing inspiration for members when they returned to their offices.

Next up a familiar face. Network legend Duncan Hurst took the stage suggesting why, in his view, all managers should justify their implant units. Duncan revealed how he is currently engaged with ACPME producing a series of papers that should help our members to think about what they do, how they do it, why they do it and where they’re going. The session was delivered with his familiar brand of dry humour and went down a storm. For the rest of the conference delegates were bending his ear, recounting their challenges and tapping into his wisdom.

After lunch came Cathy Skoglund from Arizona State University. Bubbly and engaging Cathy demonstrated how she’s creating an in-house facility where students, faculty, staff, and industry work together in a live working environment producing marketing materials for their University (see p36–39).

A session about Management Information Systems concluded the day, a perennial hot topic that had members fired-up, sharing opinions… With characters like Paul Tetley, Rick Barrett and Ian Hickman at the mic what more did we expect!

In addition to networking with exhibitors it was a very full first day – but the day was young. A lightning-fast change into tartan and we boarded the coaches to Loch Lomond looking like a cross between extras from Braveheart and a Bay City Rollers convention.

After a forecast of rain, the skies cleared as we reached picturesque Luss. From there we were piped the short walk to ‘Bonnie Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond’. And what jaw-dropping scenery awaited us. Mountains and pine trees reflected in the calm waters. Air so fresh you could practically snack on it (give or take the aroma of midge-repellent). We enjoyed a relaxing cruise, group photos on the pontoon, more bagpipes and an epic ceilidh fuelled by spit-roast hog, glazed in Irn-Bru. Partners were swung by the hands, feet were trodden on and promenades eventually went in the approximate direction the caller was after.


The second day was equally packed. After the AGM, Steve Redding hosted another lively Question Time. Suppliers from Elliot Baxter, HP. Morgana and Ricoh sat on a panel responding to all sorts from the floor.

Next up was Alan Rae. His copyright talk covered intellectual property, who owns original generated material whether design or photography, staff employee or institution. Also image use and what can be used under creative commons licensing. Plus how to protect your images and other original produced graphics material from copyright theft. Examples were given of good governance, bad governance, use of images or graphics on websites or other internet platforms. Alan delivered the talk with humour and at a fast and interesting pace. He’s a wealth of knowledge and an ideal candidate to contact should you be having any copyright issues.

Tuesday afternoon saw Rachel McAssey and Graham Ross lead two sessions on lean processes. The first session, led by Rachel, ‘Lean Concepts: Respect for People and Continuous Improvement’ introduced Lean Principals: Identify Value, Map the Value Stream, Create Flow and Eliminate Waste, Respond to Pull, Pursue Perfection. Rachel used an interactive session to demonstrate how using lean principals support continuous improvement.

She explained how Print & Design Solutions at the The University of Sheffield have embedded continuous improvement to improve Financial Reporting, Print Estimating and Stock Management.

Graham Ross led the 2nd session ‘Defining Value and Waste’. He introduced ‘TIMWOODE’ the 8 Deadly Wastes of Lean and an exercise to get the delegates to relate this to their operations: Transport, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over-Producing, Over Processing, Defect
and Employee Talent.

The day came to a crescendo with Tony Harmer from Adobe and There are people who call themselves ‘design ninjas’ and there’s Tony – he’s the real deal and wears the metal badge to prove it. Bionic-paced, juggling devices that linked seamlessly to the big screen – Tony had the room hanging on his every word. 40 minutes flew by as we saw the latest features of Acrobat (Yes. Acrobat.), witnessed some of Adobe’s pioneering work on facial feature manipulation (Simon more warped that usual), mobile apps in Creative Cloud, including one akin to Lightroom, and discovered how innovative software like Spark is changing the face of teaching and learning.

As a designer, it was both scary to be shown the speed/ease with which everyone is set to have powerful (formerly professional and tortuously-slow) tools at their fingertips wherever they are in the world and exciting to know that creatives will have faster, more intuitive software soon – with unprecedented possibilities.

Tuesday evening saw the ACPME Creative and Print Awards, dinner and disco. More razzmatazz than ever before and a real celebration of your exceptional work.


Wednesday opened with Steve McCann (also back by popular demand after his session in Torquay 2016) and ‘Resolution 2’. A quick refresher on how to best convert from SRGB or AdobeRGB image to CMYK for digital printing, if not done properly, delivers very poor results.

Then demonstrations of the benefits of using Adobe Bridge as a labelling, protection, naming, tagging and adjustment piece of software for images. Stephen explained the workflow he has developed to get the best from his photographic images and showed that Adobe Bridge can be an easy-to-use addition to your arsenal whether images are professionally taken using a DSLR
or holiday snaps from a phone.

Round-table discussion groups and the prize draw followed, then another technical session – delivered by  Jan Edgecombe of Revolution Digital. A fountain of knowledge on all things colour – Jan demystified the issues around RGB and CMYK, explained the relative benefits of working in LAB colour and focusing on Delta variation. A technical and enlightening session that picked-up partly where Stephen left off.

Never been to an ACPME conference?
Don’t worry. You’ll fit right in and leave energised with new friends. Read the impressions of first time attendee Tom Green (and Colin Yeomans) from the University of Worcester here

Or download the original article, and more, in Issue One of ‘pages’  PDF here

Interested in exhibiting at conference and sponsoring the ACPME Awards?

Take a closer look at our conference packages for suppliers. It’s a unique opportunity to meet heads of service, creative and print managers and their key operational staff in one location. Discover more here 

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