Harrods, Boots, Tesco, Waitrose, Burberry, Proctor & Gamble, United Biscuits, Giorgio Armani, and Benefit Cosmetics were among the many attending Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London 2015. The sell-out show, which took place at its new home Olympia London on 16 & 17 September 2015, enjoyed further growth, with final visitor numbers reaching 4,003, meaning that it has doubled in size since its launch six years ago.
Alan Davies, former Head of Brand Design, at Thorntons commented on the show’s success: “If you are running or launching a brand I wouldn’t miss this show – it is packed with innovation. In such a crowded and competitive market, anyone launching a product or a brand needs to get the branding and packaging absolutely right. That’s why a visit to a show like this is invaluable.”
Cuan O‘Callaghan, Sales Manager, at Leo Luxe exhibiting at the show, remarked: “Day one of the show was very good for us – we’ve met the right contacts in the spirits and beauty care market. The new venue is a great success – stylish – it’s stepped up a gear from last year.”
The two day show included a Learnshops seminar programme, with speakers from Müller, Webb deVlam London, Marks & Spencer, Liberty, and Brand on Shelf.
London is renowned as a retail centre, so appropriately the first day of talks included ‘How to use your packaging brand to make an impact on the high street whilst retaining costs’ by Atty Hussein, Operations Director, at Liberty. Hussein remarked: “Packaging is essential to a brand identity. It should provide the customer with a sense of pleasure – whether they are buying a Valentino dress or a box of biscuits.”
The Luxury Packaging Conference which gave visitors access to the latest creative thinking for premium brands, included speakers from Diageo, Harrods, P&G Prestige and LUSH.
Kicking off day two was Kate Stone, Managing Director of Novalia whose vision is to bring print to life. Stone commented: “We’re pushing the boundaries by combining conventional printing with electronics and touch software to create a magical experience for the end user. The Luxury Packaging conference is a perfect platform to showcase a glimpse of the possibilities that interactive paper can offer companies.”
The show was inundated with exhibitor launches. Glaspray launched ISA Airless; a new twist up airless dispenser for the cosmetics market. Schur Star Systems debuted its Schur® Jar, a unique flexible stand-up bag, shaped like a jar. Global Vision gave attendees a sneak peek at the new release of Proofware, the world’s first all-in-one web-based packaging inspection suite. While Graphics Packaging International was handing out free beer samples!
Claire Duthy, Packaging Developer at Pai visiting the show, remarked: “I found a lot of new packaging processes, especially for block foiling. This is the first time I have attended the show. It’s great to meet so many different suppliers all in one room – great venue and layout.”
Whilst exhibitor John Sherwood, Commercial Director, at Falcone said: “Footfall to the show has been very good. Quality of leads is excellent, visitors have been coming onto the stand wanting information, not just window shopping. The new venue has a very vibrant feel, such a busy show we have already rebooked for 2016.”
Also commenting on the success of the show was exhibitor Richard Fishwick, Sales Director at Smurfit Kappa, who remarked: “What a fantastic show 2015 was! Packaging Innovations produced some brilliant conversations with brand managers and packaging partners alike. What a great opportunity to showcase the best from Smurfit Kappa’s speciality sites.”
Big names also donned the Drinks and Beauty Symposiums. The Beauty Symposium hosted experts from Magentity, CollTec Laboratories and consultant Debbie Trumper. Stirling Murray, CEO and Founder of The Red Tree and introducing the Beauty Symposium, commented: “The new venue really worked for what has become one of the key shows in the beauty calendar – and the luxury focus worked incredibly well. I saw an amazing mix of luxury beauty packaging suppliers and buyers. Anyone launching a beauty brand needs to make their product look distinctive – and that requires innovation. For me the show presented masses of that – a powerful range of new ideas and possibilities."
The Drinks Symposium, hosted by Felicity Murray, Editor of The Drinks Report featured speakers from ButterflyCannon; Sauvelle Vodka, Hawthorn’s Gin and Funkin Cocktails. These leading names presented visitors with real-life stories, offered advice and unveiled the latest concepts sweeping the drinks industry.
The inaugural Great Innovation Debate saw a large audience gather to hear a panel of packaging experts discuss – what is innovation, how do we define innovation and where does innovation come from? The panel, included Procter & Gamble, Graphic Packaging International and Thornton’s, was chaired by Stefan Casey, Business Innovation Manager, The Retail Institute who concluded: “Over the last 18 months there has been a huge surge of interest in innovation, and in all its guises it’s springing up everywhere. Those businesses that embrace it, nurture it, and allow it to grow within its business culture will continue to reap the rewards. Businesses need to look at innovation for the long-term and remove constraints which inhibit it from happening. There’s no clever sentence or turn of phrase that can truly define what innovation is, but we all want to understand it in the hope that whatever the activity – it will be the next “big thing.”
Launched on the second day of the show was the Live Design Challenge. A timed competition that saw three design agencies go head to head, in a bid to design a rugby carton in homage to the Rugby World Cup. Visitors to the show could shake things up by changing aspects of the design, such as colour, size and text. The competition was won by Ben Fitzwilliams, Senior Account Manager, at London Graphic Systems who used the software to design packaging to encase the world cup rugby ball, with a window box and holographic font.
Also new this year was the Brand Innovation Programme where nine leading creative agencies, across the two days, discussed how to develop a brand with high quality packaging design. The show also provided a mass of interactive show features including the Innovation Showcase, highlighting the latest packaging innovations at the show, and the Rising Star Scheme where young brands were given special help finding the right solutions for their company. All this was surrounded by a London theme and a Pimm’s O’Clock networking drinks party.
Newly appointed Event Director for the Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio, Gerry Sherwood added: “We couldn’t be more delighted with the attendance figures and how this year’s show turned out. The new venue has been well received and there was a great buzz live on the showfloor. We received really positive feedback from both visitors, who found new inspiration and packaging solutions, and exhibitors who expect to achieve significant ROI from the show. This fantastic response is demonstrated in the fact that 76% of the exhibitors have already booked for next year’s show. Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London combined have truly established themselves as the exclusive event for branded and inspirational packaging, attracting world-class visitors, speakers and international exhibitors from all corners of the globe.
The next Easyfairs UK packaging events will be Packaging Innovations, Empack and Label&Print, taking place at Birmingham’s NEC on 24 & 25 February in 2015.