2024 Workshop + Retreat 

October 23-25 | Denver, CO 

We have three days packed with education, networking, and some fun too. Check out the full agenda below!

Wednesday, October 23

Attendee Arrivals

  • 3 – 5 pm            Registration Open/Badge Pick Up
  • 4:00 pm            Hotel Check-in Time at the Hilton Inverness
  • 5:00 pm            Opening Keynote – The Value of Having Values 
    • Speaker: Morgan Calderini and Arley Torsone, Ladyfingers Letterpress
    • Session Description: There is a certainty in the printed word, and at Ladyfingers Letterpress, we express that same certainty in the belief that new futures where people are safe, seen, and celebrated are possible. Join us to learn more about how your values and vision can guide the work you make, fuel growth and engage your audience. Colorado Springs-basedLadyfingers Letterpress will share their approach to message-making and longevity in an ever-evolving industry. For the past 14 years, they have joined the art of hand-lettering and letterpress as the basis of their creations, often blurring the lines between art and activism. As a trans and queer-owned business, they create work from their lived experiences and strive to create a world in which others can do the same.
  • 6:00 pm            Welcome Reception and Dinner
  • 8:00 pm            Late Night Networking at the hotel par (optional, self-pay)
    • Brews & Board Games

Thursday, October 24

  • 7:30am             Retreat Activity – Smartphone Photo Walk
    • Did you know that stopping to observe your surroundings through the lens of a camera is a great way to recharge and deepen your connection with nature? Jan Golden, who was previously an iPhone Photography instructor, will share some smartphone photography tips and lead us on a photo walk around venue campus. At the end of the walk, we’ll share our best photos and discuss our experience. Please bring your smartphone and comfortable walking shoes. All photography skill levels are welcome. The walk will be approximately 1 mile.
  • 8:00 am            Breakfast
    • Registration Open/Badge Pick Up, Coffee/Associate Exhibits open
  • 9:00 am            Morning Keynote – An Update From the Front Lines of Cutthroat Contemporary Graphic Design: And Other Lies, Fibs and Perjuries
    • Speaker: Aaron Draplin, Field Notes
    • Session Description: Get the inside scoop with Aaron Draplin, Founder of Field Notes, and learn what goes on behind the scenes at the Draplin Design Co.! He’ll give an in-depth walk through recent projects big, small and downright ugly, including an overview of the Field Notes story. Sometimes, bigger isn’t better, and he’ll provide bonafide proof of a ferociously independent existence in the cutthroat world of contemporary graphic design. His methods, momentum and mania in a fun, loose setting. Questions answered. Riddles solved. Enigmas discussed.
  • 10:15am           Associate Speed Meetings
    • Meet and network with industry suppliers in a 5-minute speed meeting format.
  • 11:00 am          Breakout Sessions
    • Choosing Business Contentment over Business
      • Speaker: Brigida Swanson, Yardia
    • Licensing Panel
  • 12:15 pm          Annual Business Meeting & Lunch
  • 1:45 pm            Sessions
    • I’ve Seen the World from Both Sides Now: Perspectives on the USPS Challenge from Both Sides of the Regulatory Divide 
      • Speakers: Vice Chairman Tom Day, Postal Regulatory Commission
    • Nurturing Wholesale Relationships Panel
      • Speaker: Tom Shoaf, Biely & Shoaf, Dave Phipps, Avanti Press
  • 3:30pm             Retreat Activity with Aaron Draplin
    • Session Description: Aaron Draplin returns for a retreat session that gets everyone involved! To start, everyone will get a Field Notes memo book and a pencil. Aaron will start off by explaining how he does what he does, his process and show a couple examples of logo projects. Attendees will get to play a bit, surprise themselves and then Aaron will bring a couple sketches to life in real time. Finally, Aaron will go behind the scenes and answer any questions you might have about what he does, sharing anecdotes from projects from his practice.
  • 4:15 pm            Associate-Hosted Happy Hour
  • 6:00 pm            Small Group Dinners – meet new friends and colleagues as part of small group dinners at The Fireside Bar & Grill or Breckenridge Brewery on-site at the Hilton Inverness! GCA will assign your group and you’ll be hosted by an esteemed GCA Board Member.
  • 9:00 pm          Brews & Board Games
    • Late Night Networking at the hotel par (optional, self-pay)

Friday, October 25

  • 8:00 am            Coffee/Associate Exhibits open
  • 8:30 am            Retail Trends and Product Curation — A panelist discussion
    • Speakers: Jennings Brody, owner |Founder: Parker & Otis, Chet Miller, Tiny and Parker Paper, Sally Caple-Diguette, Associate Buyer @ Anthropologie | Consultant, Victoria Venturi, owner | Founder of Paper Epiphanies
    • Session Description: Mary Beth Sibert, Director, Creative & Artist Relations at American Greetings moderates this panel of savvy entrepreneur-minded panelists. Wonder what buyers and retailers are looking for when they are shopping for new product? How do each of the panelists look at trends while staying true to their brand/retail store or clients & customers? What are they looking for when purchasing cards/social expression product? This panel will answer all these questions and more!
  • 9:45 am            Sessions
    • Art & Activism Panel
      • Speakers: Kate Woolley, The Noble Paperie, Melisa Beveridge, Woollybear Travels
    • AI Session
  • 10:45 am          Brunch and Networking – Let’s Talk S’more About Greeting Cards with Industry Veterans
  • 12:00pm           Closing Keynote
  • 1:00 pm            See you Next Year!

Attendee Departures

Register to Attend


Want to stick around and make a weekend of it – the Hilton Inverness will extend the discounted $199/night rate for attendees through Sunday, October 27 (with resort fee waived!)

Tacking on some time? Check out these things to do in and around Denver

  • Explore the forgotten roots of Modernism at the Clyfford Still Museum ($15)
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Meow Wolf featuring original work by over 300 Colorado artists and creatives ($45)
  • Take a self-guided neighborhood brewery tour in the city that is the epicenter of craft brewing (free – except the beer)
  • Enjoy the outdoors with a hike amid the red rocks of Roxborough State Park ($10 day pass), or, at Red Rocks (free) itself. Both are just a 30-minute drive from the Hilton Inverness.
  • Enjoy the resort amenities at The Club at Inverness – spa services, golf, indoor pool, pickle ball (prices vary)


When you join, register, attend, or participate in any GCA activity, you agree to abide by GCA’s Code of Conduct.