ACUP Conference a Success

Doug Fenske and Ryan Shuh showed their in-plant at Minnesota State University-Mankato off to ACUP attendees.

ACUP 2013 attendees listen to a session at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

A chilly rain dampened the highway on the 90-minute bus drive to Mankato, Minn., Wednesday morning, as the third day of ACUP got underway. Attendees of the 48th annual Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) conference spent the morning touring Minnesota State University-Mankato’s print and mail operations, overseen by ACUP host Doug Fenske. They saw his well-equipped offset and digital printing facility and spent time talking with operators.

With about 80 in-plant managers in attendance from 25 states, plus Scotland, England and Australia, a medley of diverse accents has been filling the air throughout the three-day conference, as managers get to know one another and network.

Following Wednesday’s shop tour, attendees regrouped in the student union building for sessions. Fenske talked about how he works with Minnesota State University-Mankato’s integrated marketing team to ensure that all printed materials have consistent branding, including the university’s specific (PMS 269) purple color.

After his session, Rosemary Chase examined copyright issues, and U.K. attendee Brian Pickles, of Bradford University, in Bradford, England, discussed how he helped create a shared print services program with Bradford College, for the mutual benefit of both insititutions.

The conference has been a great success so far, with ample time for in-plant managers to get to know one another and discuss issues they have in common. A Monday-night dinner boat cruise on the Mississippi River gave them plenty of opportunities to network and compare notes.

It all started on Monday morning, when Tom de Ranitz, founder of Forte Consulting, took to the podium with his keynote titled “If Printers Ruled the World.” Other sessions on Monday covered copier fleet management and Web-to-print software. And a dinner boat cruise on the Mississippi River gave attendees a great opportunity to network and compare notes.

In the afternoon of the first day, Ray Chambers, CEO of the Chambers Management Group, and his wife Cathy Chambers, of Virginia Tech’s in-plant, began an in-depth, two-day workshop about strategic print management, covering hands-on decision making, recognizing and addressing management problems, and evaluating results.

Tuesday’s opening keynote was a lively one, as Ken Macro, soon to take over as head of the Graphic Communication Department at California Polytechnic State University, gave an enthusiastic, fast-paced talk about Cal Poly’s graphic communications programs before detailing exciting future print technologies like printed electronics, smart packaging and 3D printing.

The day also included a roundtable discussion on digital bindery solutions, and a session on in-plant best practices by IPG Editor Bob Neubauer, in which he offered anecdotes of in-plants targeted for closure, and revealed how they were saved, and he gave examples of new services in-plants are offering.

ACUP wrapped up Wednesday night with a gala dinner, featuring an awards ceremony. Retired University of North Texas Director Jimmy Friend announced the winners. Be sure to visit IPG’s Facebook page for more photos of ACUP 2013.

Related story: Day Two of ACUP Conference

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics 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 more than 130 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, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.
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