Girls Who Print Day
Today is the sixth annual Girls Who Print (GWP) Day, when the Printerverse (Booth 4425) honors all of the women in the print industry, and recognizes one who stands out above the rest with the fourth annual Girlie award. Billed as an “international sorority for women in the printing industry,” Girls Who Print was founded in 2009 by Mary-Beth Smith, as a way to connect with other women in the industry and boost one another up. The idea exploded far beyond her original hopes, and today is one of the most anticipated events at GRAPH EXPO/PRINT shows annually.
The “Girls Who Print Nation” today numbers more than 9,000 members from around the world, and those numbers continue to grow. The signature theme of the event continues to be “Peace. Love. Girls Who Print,” highlighting the purpose of the movement—promoting a deep mutual love of print, paper, design, and communication through a wide range of networking and educational opportunities.
“If you are at PRINT 17, you’re invited to join us in the Printerverse at noon for a light lunch,” says Smith. “For those who cannot attend, we will be sharing photos and videos via social media throughout the day! No matter where you are, you are part of the celebration! The photos you share from your own parties are a big part of what makes GWP Day so special. Be sure and use #GirlsWhoPrint as you post photos on social media.”
This year, there are several social media feeds that will be dedicated to covering this day. @GirlsWhoPrint, @PrintMediaCentr, and @mbsmithTX will all have coverage of the festivities throughout the day, as well as the much-anticipated Girlie award ceremony. In addition to the #GirlsWhoPrint hashtag, use the #Print17 and #graphexpo hashtags to ensure your photos and excitement are shared with the entire show.
In addition, there is a free poster available at the Girls Who Print website (girlswhoprint.printmediacentr.com), and members are encouraged to download and print the piece, and then share pictures of themselves in their work environments, and at Girls Who Print parties on the dedicated Girls Who Print Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GirlsWhoPrint). Other ways to connect with the membership—both today and throughout the year—include following the Girls Who Print blog (www.girlswhoprint.blogspot.com/), joining the Girls Who Print LinkedIn Page (www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1969742&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr), or following the group on Instagram (instagram.com/marybethsmithtx/).
“When I formed Girls Who Print on LinkedIn, I thought that maybe 20 people I knew personally around the country might join up, and we’d chat and gossip about people who WEREN’T in the group, or reminisce about printing companies we’d worked for, and just kind of stay connected across the miles, and across the years,” says Smith. “There was no serious purpose or grand plan. It was my hands-on learning attempt at social media for business. By the end of the first week, I was dumbfounded to learn that nearly 100 people had joined, most of whom I did not know. Clearly, I was going to have to take it a little more seriously—people were WATCHING! And…guys! Men also wanted to be part of a group that brought the woman’s perspective to the industry. When we hit 500 members before the month was out, I thought to myself: ‘Wow! I guess everyone who is going to join has joined–awesome!’ I had the same thought regularly over the next several weeks as we grew to 600, then 700, then 1,000. I realized that I had no idea how many Girls Who Print were out there. I accepted that I was just along for the ride.”