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Colloquium during a pandemic

Graphic arts students of Ryerson broke all records during this year’s conference


July 12, 2021
By Brittany Vucinic

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Colloquium is an academic and professional networking conference organized by Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) students with the help of faculty advisors. It brings together students and professionals in the graphic arts industry to connect and discuss trending topics.

At the beginning of this past academic year, it was decided the colloquium would be held virtually from March 11 to 12, 2021. This was the first time in the colloquium’s history that the event would not be held in person. As one can imagine, there are many elements to planning a digital conference that differ from an in-person event. Although the team had some challenges, many new opportunities also became available.
With an online event, we had the opportunity to expand our audience from Ryerson alone to worldwide! Our team was very determined to take advantage of this opportunity and strived to create an efficient and effective marketing strategy.

Theme
This year’s theme was Sustainability in the Graphic Arts, which explored both the creative and operational issues surrounding sustainability. The two-day event included a panel, keynote speakers, and networking opportunities. It was a very insightful event that highlighted the many sustainable initiatives companies are taking to ensure the health of the planet and its future.

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Many firsts
Colloquium 2021 was a series of firsts for our team. This involved incorporating new technologies, such as Menti, Trello, Zoom and Rally, that helped us break our own records. We broke all previous records concerning total event registrations and had 170 attendees on day one and 180 on day two. The attendee locations included Canada, U.S.A., U.K., Pakistan and India. Our team also created an immaculate Snapchat filter with 921 views, 559 plays and 47 shares.

Panel discussions
Throughout the two-day conference, 11 speakers touched upon different elements of sustainability. They represented companies, such as Goldfin Consulting, Simpson Print, SwissQprint, Loop, Walmart, Hemlock, Marks, SGS & Co., PAC Next and Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP). An education panel discussion was held on the second day of the conference. Most of the questions were about the pandemic’s impact on the industry, sustainability myths and misconceptions. Visit www.gcmcolloquium.com/news to learn more about the individual presentations and watch recordings.
Working toward a more sustainable future is not a solo task, as we all need to continue collaborating. The 2021 Colloquium team would like to thank all of our sponsors, speakers, viewers and supporters who helped us create a successful and eye-opening event. As a final farewell, we hope to have planted a sustainable initiative seed, and are excited to watch them grow in companies and households.

Brittany Vucinic recently graduated from the Graphic Communications Management program at Ryerson University. Vucinic was part of the Colloquium team for the entire duration of her degree and was the marketing vice-president during her final year. She can be reached at brittany.vucinic@ryerson.ca.