UK packaging show packed out

Record-breaking exhibitor and visitor numbers, world class speakers and innovation filled the exhibition halls at Packaging Innovations and the co-located shows, which took place on 27 & 28 February 2013.

The 2013 show reported record attendance across the two days, with 5,093 unique visitors attending over the two days. Visitors included packaging buyers from major names such as Marks & Spencer, Nestlé, Waitrose and Kimberly-Clark. The 2014 show will take place on 26 & 27 February and is expected to be even bigger, as Alison Church, Event Director at easyFairs UK Ltd, commented:

"We couldn't be more delighted with how the show went last week! Off the back of an incredible reception to our London event back in October, to be saying that this is our best event ever was a tall order for the show....but one I'm very glad to say we've achieved. There was such a buzz of positivity in the hall, from both visitors and exhibitors, it felt great to be part of such a vibrant industry.

"With a visitor increase of 12% on last year, and 67% of exhibitors rebooking for next year's show onsite, we are in a great position to take the show to new heights in the coming year. We have exciting plans to develop and build on the print area of the show, as well as introduce a converting focus; plus we have an engaging new floorplan, and a new look in our branding. So there's a lot to be excited about for the year ahead!"

Gilbert Chow, Global Category Leader Packaging from Associated British Foods plc, visiting the show, enthused: "Great show – lots of exhibitors and visitors, very busy. I just attended an interesting talk by Landa on nanography and digital print, which was very insightful."

Packaging Innovations was co-located with five other shows: Ecopack, Contract Pack, Packtech, Print Innovations and new for 2013 Labelling Innovations, with new ideas and products in each. 2014 will also see the addition of Converting Innovations.

It was a show debut for Jetbox, which launched a new concept in fibreboard boxes. Global One-Pak Limited, celebrating its 10 year anniversary, showcased Infinity – a new foaming pump. Intelligent Packaging Solutions also launched TE-cap, a tamper-evident packaging solution for the ice cream market.

Steve Ryan, UK & OEM Sales Manager at Allen Coding Systems, exhibiting at the show, said: "Visitors coming through the doors were of high quality. It is refreshing to have a large number of new potential customers come and see us, as well as existing ones. In fact, people had researched us online, saw we were exhibiting and came here to see us. We have rebooked for next year and will also be at Packaging Innovations London 2013."

Also exhibiting at the show was Robin Taylor, Creative Director at Kairos One, who remarked: "Having reviewed our leads, we are confident that we will double or triple our investment within the next couple of months. In addition, we have picked up plenty of really good opportunities which will help us far exceed our sales targets over the next 12 months. We will not think twice about signing up for next year's show."

The show witnessed the launch of the inaugural Packaging Innovations Conference, where James Averdieck, founder of Gü Chocolate Puds, talked about the importance of packaging in brand positioning. James remarked: "Brands don't come to life until the conception of packaging. The key ingredient is having a good product and making it look a million dollars. You make a promise with the brand/packaging, then the product inside has to live up to that promise."

The event also included a two-day comprehensive free-to-attend learnShops seminar programme, with world-class speakers from Gerber Juice Company, Warburtons, Burts Potato Chips, Wrap, Recoup and Landa. Martin Dallas, Managing Director at Payne Packaging Solutions, lifted the research lid on 'openability'. He remarked:

"85 per cent of consumers experience some form of frustration with packaging. It is clear from the research that functionality plays a major a part in consumers' perceptions of good packaging. When packaging works, it makes people feel good about the product. Equally, a poor pack can have a deeply negative effect on their perception of the brand. People are willing to pay more for easy opening packaging, and packaging is the primary communicator."

Paul Johnston-Knight, Director at Papico visiting the show, commented: "Good show. There is an awful lot here; I wish I was coming back tomorrow. The show gets better each year; I love the fact there are multiple locations for different seminars."

In addition, the show featured the inaugural BIG Print Debate, where Unilever, Waitrose, Print Week, Print Research International and Reflex debated: 'Everything that can become digital will become digital – or will it?'. The discussion was lively, with a packed theatre not only listening to the thoughts of the panel but also firing questions from the floor.

Also new to the show was a live edition of the hugely popular twitter forum #Packchat, where show attendees gathered to discuss 'Where will the industry be in five years' time?'. The discussion alluded to the fact that societal perspectives will keep the industry moving, but that sustainability will still be a key element on the agenda in five years' time. #Packchat will continue after the show, happening at 1pm every Wednesday on Twitter debating a critical packaging issue each week.

A show favourite was The BIG Packaging Debate, where over 100 visitors gathered to hear a panel of packaging experts discuss: 'Consumers don't buy sustainable packaging'. Kevin Vyse, Managing Director of The Institute of Packaging Professionals UK, who was chairing the debate, concluded: "It seems sustainability isn't the real issue, it is perhaps consumption, the need to reduce the overall consumption levels. A holistic approach is needed and a shared mindset between businesses, so they work together on these issues, a sense of shared responsibility that isn't all about commercial short term gain."

The next event will be Packaging Innovations London taking place on 1 & 2 October 2013 at the Business Design Centre, Islignton. For full information and to register visit


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