ACUP+ Conference Off to Great Start
Since Sunday evening, in-plant managers have been excitedly catching up with one another at the first in-person Association of College and University Printers (ACUP+)j conference in three years. More than 50 higher-ed and K-12 managers are in Vancouver, Washington, this week for the event, and the networking has been more enthusiastic than ever.
The long pandemic pause in conferences has been hard on this gregarious group, and managers are making up for lost time. Sunday’s opening reception was abuzz with laughter and discussions, and the networking has continued all week – at the luncheons, in the vendor hall, and for long hours into the night.
Monday’s opening keynote speaker, George Carroll, inspired attendees with advice on how to stay positive in changing times. He had managers on their feet throughout the session, shouting at the top of their lungs. My Tuesday morning keynote was well received. I shared brand new IPI survey data showing trends at higher-ed in-plants, which services are growing, and how this sector is recovering from COVID.
The educational sessions and roundtable discussions on the first two days of ACUP+ have all been great. Managers from Oregon State University created a lot of excitement in one session with the samples they brought showing die-cutting and foiling techniques they’re using. A hands-on workshop yesterday presented by MacTac and Plasticade allowed attendees to apply window, wall and floor graphics themselves. The managers from Iowa State University and Northern Arizona University shared details about innovative wide-format projects they have produced and discussed the equipment and substrates they are using.
Roundtable discussions have brought out lots of great ideas. In one, managers shared example of new products they are offering, from luggage tags to aluminum signs. Managers also talked about new services they are looking into, like garment printing.
Today’s sessions will cover MIS, mail, wide-format applications, and student workers, followed by another round of roundtables. There will also be a virtual shop tour of Oregon State University’s in-plant. Tonight the conference will wrap up with an awards ceremony and a gala dinner.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.