Packaging Innovations, Label&Print and Empack 2018, opened its doors today at Birmingham’s NEC. With this in mind, James Drake-Brockman, show director, has unveiled 10 reasons why packaging professionals should attend.
1. Sustainable packaging is the hot topic of the moment, with the government, media and consumers all calling for packaging to be more recyclable and renewable. With this in mind, the show is hosting a panel discussion, as part of its Big Plastics Debate, featuring experts from Iceland, Coca Cola European Partners, Co-op, ASDA, and Marks & Spencer. This will focus on two key areas – ‘the road ahead for packaging professionals’ and ‘developing new approaches to plastics’.
2. Staying on the ‘green’ theme, the show welcomes back its popular Ecopack Challenge. Six pioneering suppliers will compete in a Dragons’ Den style session, looking to win the opportunity to further develop their concept with M&S. Those entering the competition include a peelable polymer and packaging made from 100% renewable natural wood fibres.
3. New for 2018 is the Sustainability Trail, which will highlight the suppliers at the show offering solutions and services designed to support a sustainability agenda. The trail will give brands and retailers ways to take a more sustainable approach to their packaging, as well as highlighting the most appropriate stands to visit.
4. The Innovation Lab is a new feature for this year. It showcases an array of groundbreaking products, materials and services, and the designers and inventors behind them. Some are exhibitors and some, in a show first, are non exhibiting companies, highlighting the show’s commitment to getting the top innovations under one roof.
5. Innovation is, as always, at the heart of the show and this year is no exception. With over 300 suppliers signed up, and over 100 products being launched live on the show floor, it is the biggest and most exciting show to date. It provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to see, touch and feel the products first-hand, and allows them the chance to discuss their attributes with the manufacturers face to face.
6. Running alongside the packed show floor is an educational conference programme, with over 30 hours of CPD accredited content. The Industry Forum Stage will feature a two day educational agenda, focusing on key packaging sectors, with dedicated forums for food, drink, retail, beauty, pharmaceutical and ecommerce. The show also boasts the brand new Innovation Stage, as well as the return of The Label&Print Stage, The Ecopack Stage and The Packaging News Stage.
7. The show has always drawn in the biggest industry names, be them suppliers, visitors and speakers. This year is no different – M&S, Asda, Co-Op, Iceland, TerraCycle, Thorntons, Nestle and Floral Street are just some of the major brands set to take to the stage across the two day seminar programme.
8. Whilst a lot of the show features are new for 2018, the Packaging Consultancy Clinic returns by popular demand. Any visitors looking for packaging inspiration, can book themselves in for a one on one session. They will receive expert advice on any aspect of their packaging and be able to discuss the challenges they are currently facing.
9. The show will also feature The Pentawards Exhibit, bringing cutting edge design onto the show floor, giving visitors a global perspective of the best and most creative packaging designs from the last year.
10. The show provides a place for suppliers and the buying community to meet, network and do business. With over 300 suppliers, all under one roof, there is nowhere else visitors could see this volume of suppliers in such a condensed and focused timeframe. From a seller’s point of view, it is an ideal platform to meet with existing clients and to make contact with potential new customers.