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  • 01 Mar 2022

Young Managers - Karis Copp

Karis Copp, founder of Karis Copp Media

Karis Copp, owner of Karis Copp Media, discusses finding support as a young woman in print and her work with FuturePrint. Interview by Jordan Hart.

I’m lucky enough to work with loads of amazing businesses; my clients span a fantastic variety of businesses across different industry sectors. One of those businesses is FuturePrint. I have stepped up the work I am doing with them recently since they have had so many successful events throughout the last year. I have also worked with Girls Who Print and Print Media Centr; I am really lucky to work with them, and their fun projects and initiatives. My work really boils down to telling stories and helping businesses to create content, whether it is a video interview, a white paper, a blog, or even a tweet.

FuturePrint

At the beginning of the pandemic, no one knew what was going on. Events were being cancelled left and right and we didn’t know when they would be able to resume. Marcus Timson and Frazer Chesterman, who run FuturePrint, have been in events for a long time and wanted to give their colleagues a chance to connect with their audiences when that was lacking. They didn’t over think it. They just wanted to put together this free content and get it out there. I think a lot of people took a minute to sit back and think ‘what are we doing to do?’ Marcus and Frazer just thought people need to be communicating with their audiences now and hopped in with a way to do it.

There are people who have been in the industry for decades who will go to a tradeshow and still be blown away.

We got great feedback from that first event. It spurred them on to build on it. With the numbers from the first event, they found that 57 percent were ages 18-35 and 45 percent of attendees were women. That was really interesting because that’s not a normal tradeshow demographic. That led us to the October summit and dedicating a day to young guns in print and celebrating young people in the industry. What we found with these virtual events is that it democratizes information; it lets everyone access it and gain that knowledge, younger people and women.

Experience as a young woman in print

Being a young woman in print is not without challenges. I started in this industry in 2015 and it wasn’t always smooth sailing. I felt patronized and uncomfortable at times. This is a male dominated industry and its worth addressing how that can be an issue. However, there are so many fantastic community groups out there, including Girls Who Print, Women in Signs and Graphics, and Women in Print. These groups help women come together, share their experiences, and empower each other. The tide is turning in the industry. There are more women in positions of leadership; we are a long way from where we need to be, but things are heading in the right direction.

If you are a young woman in the industry and are feeling intimidated or uncomfortable, there is a huge community out there of people who will support you. I didn’t know about any of this when I started and its worth letting everyone know those resources exist – and are a lot of fun as well. There are global groups and groups in individual countries as well so once the pandemic has moved on, there will be opportunities to network in person again.

The sense of community can be fantastic. I have met incredible people, and everyone is willing to help each other out. Someone will always help you learn something you don’t understand, and there is always something new to learn. That’s one of my favorite parts of the industry: things keep adapting. It is fast paced and there is always something new happening. There are people who have been in the industry for decades who will go to a tradeshow and still be blown away. The constantly evolving technology is what keeps this industry interesting.

Watch Copp’s full Young Managers interview here.