The UK’s largest packaging event, Packaging Innovations 2020, returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 26 & 27 February. Here, its Event Director, Victoria Blake, discusses what the show has in store and why it should be in all packaging professionals’ diaries.
Tell us about Packaging Innovations?
Packaging Innovations is the highlight of the event calendar for the UK packaging industry, which is something we are very proud of. Incorporating our co-located events Ecopack, Contract Pack & Fulfilment, Label&Print, and Empack, it is the only event which caters for professionals right across the packaging supply chain. This allows our visitors to meet with industry-leading suppliers and discover solutions for all aspects of the packaging process, from concept and design through to fulfilment and delivery. Alongside this, the show features a comprehensive seminar programme, set across four stages, offering visitors the opportunity to hear from industry leaders, innovators, and policy influencers. There are also numerous networking opportunities across both days, including the ever-popular Champagne Hour, as well as a series of interactive features for visitors to experience first-hand.
What’s the news on suppliers?
With five events taking place under one roof, the exhibition will welcome over 300 suppliers making it our largest show floor to date. Many of the exhibitors will use the show to launch their latest innovations to the UK market, allowing visitors to get hands-on with the industry’s most cutting-edge products. From sustainable innovations to the latest packaging machinery and new print capabilities, there is something for everyone. Suppliers joining us this year include Charpak, Yorkshire Packaging Systems, Innovate UK, AEGG, Advanced Labelling Systems, Bericap, Vetroplas, RPC M&H Plastics, Simply Cartons, Foxpak Flexibles, and Schur Star Systems.
What’s new for 2020?
We are always looking at ways to evolve and tailor our offering for our visitors. This year, we are launching a new education initiative aimed at connecting students and apprentices with experienced professionals. The zone will showcase the career possibilities available in the packaging industry whilst allowing experts to discover the latest talent. Our new Visit the Future Hub will also debut in 2020 and has been designed to demonstrate the amazing innovation happening within our industry. Joining the zone, the Start-Up Village will host six up and coming companies set to disrupt the industry, whilst the Innovation Showcase will display 12 of the most cutting-edge designs that can be found on the show floor.
What can be expected from the seminar programme?
In recent years we have had a particular focus on sustainability and the debate around plastics, in response to increasing pressure from consumers and the media on the packaging community. This year we are taking the conversation one step further as we introduce the BIG Carbon Debate. Having evolved from our popular BIG Plastics Debate feature, the new debate platform recognises that the conversation has moved on from the issue of just plastics and brings together key industry experts to share the latest thinking when it comes to creating truly sustainable packaging. The two-day seminar will reflect the move towards focusing on climate change and the environmental impact of packaging more holistically. Alongside the complex issue of sustainability, our seminar programme will also explore topics including branding, design, and policy changes within specific sectors, to provide detailed insights for visitors from the food, drink, beauty, e-commerce, pharmaceutical and health markets.
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