After getting close to announcing a date which clashed with Australian sport’s holiest days – the weekend of the AFL grand final and NRL premiership final – the Single Width Users Group conference has been moved to a new regular slot in March.
GXpress was told by a committee member during DRUPA that the event would be held on the last weekend of September, but as word passed around Düsseldorf’s halls and venues, it was clear that many would-be attendees were not happy. A couple of weeks after the show ended, committee members had agreed to move it to March 13-16, with Norske Skog’s Albury newsprint mill as host ... the first time the host has been a non-newspaper site. Plans do however, provide for a visit to Fairfax Media’s Border Mail Printing plant across the state border in Wodonga, where a visit to see the 4x1 Goss Uniliner S press there had been ruled impracticable when SWUG met in Wagga Wagga in 2003.
SWUG president Bob Lockley (right), who is web printing chief executive for Fairfax, says the traditional September or October timing had brought repeated clashes with other events and made it difficult to find suitable venues. “September and October are traditionally the busiest months of the year for conferences so competition for good convention facilities is fierce,” he says. “The continuing popularity of the SWUG conference has made it increasingly difficult to find suitable accommodation packages and conference venues, so we decided it would be better for everybody to move it to a time of year when we can choose from the best available options for our delegates.
“By moving the conference to March, there will be no clashes with football Grand Finals, school holidays or other industry events such as the PANPA conference or IfraExpo ... and wherever we go, the weather will be similar to what we might expect later in the year.”
The conference will be held at Albury Convention and Performing Arts Centre, with hosts Norske Skog and a visit to Border Mail Printing also on the agenda.
“The Albury paper mill is a fascinating place to visit for anybody involved in the newspaper industry,” says Lockley. “Norske Skog have been good supporters of SWUG in the past and we thank them for their invitation to host our next conference.”
Conference registration packs as well as details about the annual SWUG Awards will be available later in the year. More information from Anita White at Fairfax Media on (02) 4570 4444 or email email@example.com gx