A brief history of the seminar

Like hardwood fibre itself, the history of the seminar is not long. It dates back to 1999, when Mondi Świecie’s Technical Service Department was founded. By visiting our customers’ plants, we discovered a growing demand for technological knowledge about paper manufacturing and the differences between paper grades. People working in the corrugated industry are usually experts in their field and accustomed to overcoming problems related to corrugators, but are sometimes unaware of the root causes of various behaviours in the paper converting process. Likewise, some papermakers are unaware of the essential or key factors that endow paper with not only high quality parameters, but also good converting properties. And issues that are simple for papermakers to resolve are often alien to corrugated board makers. This seminar, which is held around every two years, is intended to close the gap between papermakers’ and corrugated board makers’ understanding of each other’s problems.

Our philosophy is summed up by the advertising slogan "By practitioners for practitioners". In our workshops and seminars we not only share our own practical knowledge, but also seek to assimilate and take advantage of information provided by the participants, so that our papers can meet all the strength and runnability requirements. Between establishing the Technical Service Department in September 1999 and hosting the first seminar in April 2002, we were learning and improving our understanding of board production and its specific demands. At the time, we were running a series of training courses entitled "From Fibre to Paper" on our customers’ premises. We visited practically all the domestic paper producers that were working with people who produce corrugated board and facing many problems on a daily basis. It was a period of intensive learning in this field for us. At the end of 2001 we decided that we were ready to organise a farther-reaching seminar entitled "From Fibre to Corrugated Board", which would cover two intrinsically linked subjects, namely paper and board.

The first seminar in the series, held in Świecie on 11 and 12 April 2002, was targeted at Polish customers. We expected to attract 50-60 participants but, to our delight, no fewer than 128 people attended. The feedback we received was also very gratifying. It confirmed the demand for this kind of event and prompted us to repeat the seminar regularly.

We sought to appeal to an international audience with the second seminar, which took place in a concert hall in Bydgoszcz on 26 and 27 November 2003. It was attended by almost 100 people from several countries. The lectures were interpreted simultaneously into five languages: English, Italian, Russian, Hungarian and German.

The third seminar, in Świecie on 1 and 2 December 2004, attracted nearly 90 people from a variety of nations. The seminar languages were Polish and English. Among the countries that sent a total of around 100 participants to the fourth event in the series, which was held in Świecie on 17 and 18 May 2006, were Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Turkey, the UK, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Iran. The lectures were given in Polish and interpreted simultaneously into English.

The fifth seminar was also hosted by Świecie, from 14 to 16 May 2008, and attracted a record attendance. Some 198 people from 15 nations registered for the event, which this time spanned three days and included a workshop on the final day.

Our sixth event in the series, in May 2011, broke all previous records. The audience of 253 people from 23 countries stretched the capacity of even our biggest conference room, but we met the logistical challenge. Once again, the feedback was positive. The 3-day agenda included some Russian speakers, so that the lectures were interpreted into the languages of our Eastern neighbours, as well as English.

The seventh event, in September 2014, took place outside the company for the first time. The increasing number of participants called for a larger conference hall that enabled us to host 298 people from more than 20 countries. The seminar therefore moved to Toruń, the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus. The presentations were projected onto two big screens simultaneously in Polish and English. A third screen showed images being captured by a mobile camera. The seminar was interpreted into English and Spanish. A drone that was used during the event – to reflect developments in the electronics industry – proved a big hit with some of the attendees. The format, seeking as ever to combine knowledge transfer between the paper and corrugated board industries with a focus on the future, has become a key factor in the seminar’s success. After posting a record number of participants again in 2014, we are now looking forward to welcoming another big audience in May 2017.

In the periods between seminars, we have organised various training courses in several markets and on our customers’ premises. In addition to Poland, we have also visited Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, China, Israel, Latvia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, and Sri Lanka.

Certainly many more than 2,000 people have attended our training courses and seminars. We hope that we have contributed to broadening their knowledge by combining two subject areas – paper and corrugated board.

As indicated in the introduction, like hardwood fibre, the history of our seminar is short. The analogy goes further: we believe that the seminar will gain in value, mature and acquire ideal properties over time. 

Best regards,

Marek Motylewski

Last change: 19/12/2016

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© 2018 by Mondi
© 2018 by Mondi