Print conference canned for 2015

One of Australia’s main print events will not be go ahead this year, although planning is about to get underway for the Single Width Users Group (SWUG) conference in 2016.

The decision to drop the SWUG conference this year was a result of 2014’s later than usual event, according to the group’s president Bob Lockley.

“Last year we went to Darwin [for the conference] and we had to postpone it, due to the heat and also the state of things in the industry,” Mr Lockley said.

The SWUG conference is usually held in March, and Mr Lockley said that an event next month, following last year’s conference in May, would be too short an interval.

The conference, first held in 1985 at the Gold Coast Bulletin as a way for newspaper production workers to exchange ideas and discuss their work, was founded by Bulletin production manager Geoff Austin, who handed over to Mr Lockley in 1990.

“We get together once a year… and we get down to the nuts and bolts. That’s why it’s been so successful – because we kept it down to that level,” Mr Lockley said.

Despite the cancellation this year, it will not be long before organisers start thinking about the 2016 event. Choosing a site will be one of the first decisions.

“We normally [start planning] nine months in advance, so we’ll start working on that in about three months,” Mr Lockley said.

“Then we lock in speakers in the newspaper industry. We focus a lot on innovation and safety.”

The events are partially sponsored by publishers, such as APN, News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media. Last year’s venue was the NT News print centre, hosted by News Corp Australia, which provided two speakers.

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