Swug New Zealand scored a hit with its Printfinity conference held in Wellington at the start of the month.
Held at the Copthorne Hotel, the conference’s Toy Story movie theme sent the message that new Zealand has a vibrant print industry, full of life. Dan Blackbourn, chairman of Swug New Zealand, says the conference matched the benchmarks set by recent successful SWUG conferences such as those in Rotorua and Dunedin.
He says, “We had 115 delegates, including visitors from Australia and the Pacific Islands, and speakers came who are based in Europe. We had two days of top-class presentations across all technical sectors of the industry, from press installations and blanket technologies to inks and rollers. The site tour to the Fairfax plant in Petone was excellent.
“Swug delivered a fantastic opportunity to network with suppliers and other delegates. Wellington proved a perfect venue with the awards evening held at the Te Papa Museum, a stone’s throw from the Copthorne.”
The awards dinner featured the Swug Apprentice of the Year Award and the Swug Quality Awards presented by guest speaker and broadcaster Miles Davis. It also provided a highlight for two charities. Blackbourn says, “Swug was able to donate a cheque for $1000 to the Billy Graham Naenae Youth Charitable Trust as well as another cheque for $1000 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation New Zealand who also presented at the conference.
“Billy was our guest speaker a few years ago and formed a bond with Swug. It was a pleasure to present him and his wife with a cheque which will go to help him bring worthwhile sporting opportunities to at-risk youths.
“We had a further charity opportunity when our guest performer, Australian artist Brad Blaze, produced a quick-fire painting of former All Black captain Richie McCaw. We raffled the painting among Swug delegates and raised about $600 which will go to a charity at Swug 2017.”
Steve Packham, of DIC Australia, won the rafflebut, with the painting too big to fit on the plane home, he donated it to the Petone Fairfax plant, which had hosted the conference site visit.
Blackbourn adds, “We want to thank all sponsors, particularly gold sponsors DIC, Global Press Technology, Fujifilm, QI Press controls, Norske Skog, Bottcher, DS Chemport, Hostmann-Steinberg and Kodak for making SWUG possible. Putting on an event like this comes close to costing $100,000. Without the support of the sponsors in our industry, it could never happen.”
Later this year, Swug will announce the date and venue for next year’s conference.