Xplor Announces First Collegiate Communication Design Competition

Xplor Ryerson and Cal Poly University Chapters to Participate

Lutz, FL – January 25, 2017 – Xplor International, the worldwide electronic document systems association, today announced their inaugural Communication Design Competition. The contest is open to Xplor University Chapters students and is created to challenge students and promote real life application development, while having a bit of fun.

Sponsored by GMC Software, the winning team will be recognized at Xploration® 17 in Florida at the Caribe Royale Orlando, March 28-30, 2017.

Tweet this: #XPLOR17 Communication Design Competition Announced! @XplorRyerson @CalPoly @GMC_net

Teams consist of up to five Xplor student members from the same university. A team can only submit one entry, but the university can have multiple teams. Each student can only participate on one team.

Teams will be challenged to redesign an ordinary, bland  credit card statement making it more functional, aesthetically pleasing and expanding its purpose to include making the communication a marketing opportunity.

It is the responsibility of the team to research and determine how to integrate various options and enhancements while re-designing the communication into a final submission.  The communication needs to be accessible via print, web and mobile.

“This is a great opportunity for students to apply the skills they have learned at their respective universities”, says Skip Henk, president and CEO of Xplor International, “I want to thank GMC Software for sponsoring this inaugural event.”

Winners will be selected based on their team’s presentation and explanation of the re-design to a panel of judges.

The winning team will be presented a trophy at Xploration 17 during the awards ceremony on March 28th and a cash prize. Each member on the team will receive a complimentary full-conference pass and the opportunity to present their design to Xploration 17 attendees in a 25-minute educational session.

About Xploration 17: The two-and-a-half day event is the perfect blend of educational sessions, panel discussions, general sessions, and daily networking events. Other features include:

  • 60+ Educational Sessions
  • Panel Discussions
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Vendor Forum,
  • Evening Networking Events (Tue/Wed
  • Networking Luncheons (Tue/Wed)
  • Thursday Breakfast
  • Analyst Workshop (Thursday)
  • Production Workflow Basics Course by acadami (included in registration fee)

For more information regarding Xploration® 17, or to register, visit Questions should be directed to or +1-813-949-6170 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM (ET), Monday through Friday.

Vendors interested in being an exhibitor should contact Xplor’s Director of Sales, Deborah Green at +1-770-444-3845 or via email at

About Xplor International
Xplor International is a not-for-profit association that provides thought leadership to the customer communications industry. As a community Xplor provides advocacy, education, training, mentoring and networking opportunities.

Our members are decision makers and recommenders who are involved in the conception, design, implementation production and delivery of multi-channel client, member and customer communications.

Xplor’s mission is to enhance organizational success and advance the careers of our members by providing research, publications, industry certification, professional development, web-based events, and conference programming. Xplor International has its worldwide headquarters in Lutz, Florida, with affiliated offices around the world. Further information is available at

Twitter: or @Xplor_Int

Xplor International Media Contact:
Chad Henk
Marketing Manager

A look at Xploration 15 from the Student Perspective

Xplor International University Chapter, Ryerson University
Interview by Skip Henk, EDP with Ryerson students Valerie Drozdowsky and Kyle Tavares

Almost two years ago Xplor International and Xplor Canada launched their first University Chapter at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Since that time Xplor Ryerson has prospered with student members holding onsite campus events, a job fair, attending Xploration 14 as well as the 2014 Xplor at Graph Expo event and most recently Xploration 15 in Orlando, Florida.

And as time has passed some of the “founding” members of the chapter are graduating and venturing into the workforce.

I recently asked Kyle Tavares and Valerie Drozdowsky, two of the founding members of the Xplor Ryerson Chapter what their thoughts were on Xploration 15.

Skip: What was the value to you and the other Ryerson students in being able to speak with vendors and other document professionals at Xploration 15?

Kyle: Although we are used to speaking and networking with vendors when we attend other trade shows, Xploration 15 was a unique experience for all of us. As a student we usually do not get the “time of day” from the sales people because they know we are students and will not be purchasing their products or services.

At Xploration15 it was the exact opposite – we were able to speak with people who wanted to converse with us. Many of the vendor participants were decision makers who were very interested in what we thought about the Xploration15 experience, and they took the time to educate us on the goods and services they provide.

Valerie: The value that I find in speaking with vendors and other document professionals as a student is getting a chance to learn more about the mission that the vendors are trying to create as a company and also gaining the confidence to even speak to them. It may seem funny but being a student, it’s hard to know where you stand against these professionals who have worked in the industry for years. After a bit of time, the main value I get is recognition. When they start to remember your name and who you are, you feel valuable.

Skip: Was there anything in particular that you learned that may help your career?

Kyle: The experience taught me a lot about networking. As a student I found the educational sessions were very well done. I was able to attend most of the sessions that interested me and pull very valuable information from all of them. The best ones for students I thought were the LinkedIn and networking sessions. I found those very applicable for students. Many of the panel discussions also contained great information. It was great to be able to ask insightful questions about the topics.

Valerie: I have learned that building relationships is a very big part of being successful in the business world. Watching how everyone interacts at these conferences I now understand how to act, dress and communicate professionally in a conference and a working environment. All of this has made me develop a passion to work in the industry that I am entering. I have also learned how to approach and communicate with others, whether they are much older or much more experienced than I am. Being the second conference that I have attended, I found it easier to join in conversations and discussions, whether personal conversations or group discussions.

Skip: Any opportunities you may have to explore employment opportunities?

Kyle: For me personally it was a great opportunity to speak with a variety of vendors. I spoke with several vendors including Mary from NEPS to inquire what their business was all about. Later that evening their President approached me and asked if I would like an opportunity to interview with NEPS. Just following Xploration15 I had an interview and I am now a NEPS employee.

Valerie: Last year I was able to make a connection for an internship opportunity with Symcor, in Mississauga for the summer of 2014. It was required to complete a 420 hour internship at a company related to our school work and the graphic arts industry.

This year was a bit different. I did get to meet a lot of new employers, mostly from the U.S. Since I am looking for employment in Canada I wasn’t able to find an employment opportunity directly from the conference but I did make additional connections. I had a third interview with TC Media a week ago and I am still waiting for a response. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.

Skip: Sounds like it was a great event for you both. Do you have any closing remarks?

Kyle: My involvement with Xplor International and the Xplor Ryerson Chapter has provided me opportunity to not only expand my knowledge and personal network, but also launch my career. I would recommend any student looking to be part of the Communications Industry to join Xplor, and if your school has an Xplor University chapter become part of it.

Valerie: It’s always valuable listening to the latest trends in workflows, listening to how companies are getting the younger generation more involved and how the companies are evolving their mission statements to cater more to and fit in with the millennials.
Skip: Valerie and Kyle, thank you for sharing your experiences about Xplor as well as Xploration 15. I look forward to seeing you both next year at Xploration 16.

Note: Any college or university that would like to discuss the possibility of having an Xplor University Chapter can contact Chad Henk at or call +1-813-949-6170.

Click here for a brochure on the Xplor University Chapter Program.


Xplor Canada Adds Xplor Ryerson Intern

Intern to Support Membership Programming and Activities
Submitted May 12, 2015 – Cross Posted from Xplor Canada

Xplor® Canada, an affiliate of Xplor® International, today announced the addition of intern Jim Phan to support membership programming and activities within the Canadian Region.

Jim PhanIn his a 3rd year studying in the Graphic Communications Management (GCM) program at Ryerson University, Jim takes an active role in his Course Union (GCMCU) serving as the President – and in the past as Vice President of Events. He also took part in planning events for the Ryerson International Experiential Learning Program as well as contributing to the Ryerson Communications and Design Society campaign team. With the coming 2016/2017 year, Jim hopes to be able to get students in GCM involved in more academic, professional, and social events.

“It is a very exciting to be able to work with so many members with such diverse backgrounds,” says Phan. “Currently I am working towards planning out the logistics of Xplor Canada’s annual Golf Day. I also look forward to showcasing Xplor in creative ways in order to support Xplor’s mission of opening more Xplor university student chapters.”

Mr. Phan is an active member of the Xplor Ryerson University chapter, in Toronto. Launched two years ago, Ryerson became the first university chapter of Xplor International.

“We are very happy to support the Ryerson GCM program, especially since they were the inaugural Xplor student chapter” says Paul Abdool, Xplor International Board Member focused on student chapter development. “When I interviewed students at the Ryerson University GCM Job Fair, there were many great candidates, but I knew Jim was our guy. I liked his energy and his ‘make something from nothing’ attitude.”

Xplor Canada Media: