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SWUG Rates Highly with Delegates

SWUG Rates Highly with Delegates

New Zealand’s SWUG 2013—representing the web offset sector of the printing industry—has gained a resounding vote of approval from delegates who attended the two-day event in Auckland recently.

The 13th Annual Single Width Users’ Group Conference was held from July 17-18 at the Novotel conference and hotel complex adjoining Ellerslie Racecourse, in Greenlane. Nearly 130 delegates and sponsor representatives attended two days of in-depth presentations on relevant print topics, with the SWUG Apprentice of the Year Award being announced at the conference dinner.

Delegates were asked a series of questions about how they rated the event. Responses were professionally assembled and analysed and they show that 90% of attendees rated SWUG either “excellent” or “very good”.

At the other end of the scale, no one at all gave it a poor rating.

The response summary breakdown shows that 23.8% voted the conference “excellent”, 66.7% voted it “very good” and 9.5% said it was “good”. There was no vote that was less than “good”.

Delegates were then asked “How would you rate the cover of subjects, heatset, coldset, technical and motivational?”

The vast majority of answers in the heatset, coldset and technical categories fell within the range of “very good” and “good”, accounting for 80% of responses in all categories.

A few rated the subject matter as excellent and a few as fair, but none felt the content was poor.

The rest of the survey allowed delegates more scope for discussion, asking them what they particularly liked about the conference, what they didn’t like and what could be improved for next time.

Many delegates gave high ratings to specific speakers such as Business NZ’s Phil O'Reilly, Steve Cox of Norske Skog and Jenny Stiles of News Works. Others were keen on technical subjects such as Goss International’s new product range and blanket technology trends.

The site visit to PMP in Wiri won wide approval.

Specific comments included “it's an excellent networking opportunity”, “positive content and a good overview of many subjects, a little for everyone”, “very well run”, “new and interesting presentations - FM Global, Ross Ackland, etc instead of the same old stuff”, and positive feedback regarding “the pace of the schedule and the quality of the information”.

Among the few downsides were that some of the presenters spoke for too long, and the language of one of the comedians at the site tour was in bad taste.

As for suggestions for improvement for the next SWUG, ideas put forward included: “consider some post press technical topics from Ferag and/or Muller Martini, etc?”, “a little more on how to get more out of your press room and process improvements”, “maybe have the awards the first night?”, “perhaps a couple more Who Am I’s and yes I know it is hard to get people to do this, but most are front line printers or managers”, and “the technical/engineers session (problems and answers) needs to be driven a little harder”.

Some however think the present format is perfect.

One response was: “I think it is well-balanced and covers a variety of topics both locally and abroad, not all focused on printing which breaks the day up nicely.”

SWUG chairman Dan Blackbourn said the committee will be taking the feedback on board and looking to make some positive changes to next year’s conference.

Anyone wishing further information can go to

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