The 2015 installment of PePcon—The Print and ePublishing Conference—wraps up in Philadelphia today, after four days of print and design related tutorials, rapid-fire sessions, networking events, and tips and tricks competition. The conference brings together creative professionals from along the entire spectrum of the print and publishing world. With over 450 people in attendance in attendance, the conference—produced by CreativePro.com’s parent company, Creative Publishing Network—the annual event deftly combined learning, socializing, idea-swapping, and problem-solving, by a wide range of creatives.
The first day of PePcon was a gentle ramp up, featuring five hour tutorials covering acronym-laden topics such as HTML/CSS, EPUB, and DPS. The second day things officially kicked off with a welcome by PePcon creators and the hosts of the InDesign Secrets podcast, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, followed by sessions ranging from video to mobile apps to fonts to color. The following day continued the trend, offering up meaty topics such as editorial workflows, interactive effects, and the future of publishing. PePcon’s session lineup always presents a healthy mix of established speakers like Sandee Cohen and Russell Viers and fresh new faces such as Trish Witkowski and Roberto Blake. The caliber of 2015’s speakers certainly didn’t disappoint.
Many of the heavy hitters in the supporting industries like script and extension developers, software solutions, and ePublishing vendors also had a presence. What sets PePcon apart here, too, is the interactions with these vendors. Unlike many conventions and conferences, the attendees here don’t feel as if a vendor is merely there to push a product on them. The vendors truly have solutions to actual problems we creatives face, and everyone works on building relationships to reach goals together.
One point of PePcon praise I hear most (I’ve been lucky enough to be a PePcon speaker for the past few years) is having access to so many experts in the industry on both the speaker and attendee side. The opportunities for meeting others who work in the same trenches as us and face the same issues, as well as those who can shed light on your issues, are plentiful, not to mention fun! With games, prizes, and enough food to feed a small country, PePcon is always a wonderful mix of learning, networking, and feeling a part of a real—albeit spread out—community. I feverishly handed out business cards I had made specifically for PePcon that combined movie quotes with PePcon- and InDesign-specific references. And although the “PePcon is People” card was meant to pay tribute to Soylent Green, I believe that the expression encompasses what PePcon is really all about. True to form, this year’s PePcon lived up to its slogan: “Come for the content, leave with a community!”