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Renan Joel: What is new for 2022 at Packaging Innovations?

Packaging Solutions

Packaging Innovations and Empack will return to Birmingham’s NEC on 25 and 26 May 2022. The show will showcase the latest developments in innovation, design, and technology. This year, the programme will include a variety of exciting features including The £10 Billion Debate, Sustainability Trail, Innovation Showcase, Ecopack Challenge, and an in-depth, free to attend seminar programme.

Renan Joel, divisional director at Easyfairs, explains what visitors to the show can expect, and why it is an unmissable event for packaging professionals across the entire supply chain.

Where else to start but the rearranged date? Why was the show moved from February to May?

It was a really tough decision to move our NEC show, especially as there was no event last year due to the pandemic. But, as the UK’s flagship packaging event, it was important to us that visitors and exhibitors felt safe whilst at the show. We decided the best way to ensure this was to delay until May, when the country would be better prepared to house large events like ours.

Will sustainability remain a key theme at the show?

Absolutely! Sustainability is one of the hottest topics within the industry at the moment as we continue to navigate a post pandemic world of packaging. With this in mind, we have introduced a new feature to the show for 2022 – The Sustainability Trail. This will provide visitors with the chance to discover the eco stars of the industry, all of whom will be showcasing a series of panel approved concepts designed to shape the future of packaging. It shouldn’t be missed.

As always, sustainability will also be a key focus on the show floor, with many of our exhibitors taking proactive steps to create solutions that are effective but don’t cost the planet. Indeed, many have committed to reducing their use of virgin materials, improving recyclability, and cutting down on waste. Others are creating brand-new materials that are environmentally friendly.

Can you tell us more about what is new for 2022?

Of course! We are really excited to bring The £10 Billion Debate to Birmingham following its incredibly successful launch at the London show. The session will put government initiatives on packaging under the microscope, including proposed plans for a deposit return scheme. I can’t wait to continue the discussions in Birmingham.

We also have some exciting things in the works, but I am not allowed to unveil them just yet. Stay tuned though.

Will visitors be able to get involved at the show?

We always try and keep our features and sessions interactive, and 2022 is no exception. Our popular Innovation Showcase is back, showing off the latest ideas and innovation from across the packaging sector. Visitors can vote for their favourite innovation, with exhibitors competing to win the title of ’Most Innovative Pack’. I can’t wait to see the fresh ideas entrants will come up with this year!

The popular Ecopack Challenge returns to the show after a short hiatus, presenting visitors with an interactive Dragon’s Den style contest. The challenge will see a handful of sustainable creators pitch their ‘green’ ideas to a panel of experts, led by Ocado, live at the show.

Clearly, one of the main goals of the show is to give visitors access to the most innovative minds in the industry. What can visitors expect to see from the experts on show?

Our industry leading seminar programme has been designed to offer our visitors tangible advice that they simply wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. We have some of the biggest names in the industry already signed up, including Ocado, OPRL and HP, with more to be announced soon!

For 2022, we have three stages. The first is The Empack stage, and this will focus on manufacturing, processing, and logistics where discussions will range from energy efficiency to robotics. On the other two stages, some of the brightest packaging minds will share what they expect from the year ahead, discussing trends, formats, and graphic developments.

No matter which area of packaging you are interested in, our programme really does have something for everyone!

Suppose a visitor has a particular packaging query, where would they go for help at the show?

We are delighted to announce that our Packaging Consultancy Clinic will return to the NEC in May. This part of the show allows guests to book a slot with a packaging expert, who will analyse their packaging and answer any burning questions they might have. Whether the query relates to design, shipping, innovation or the supply chain, our experts will be on hand to provide guidance on how to realise their packaging dreams!

To register to attend Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022, please visit the registration page. For any further information, please visit the Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022 website or contact the show team on +44 (0)20 196 4300 or


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