London Packaging Week, which debuted this week as another major event in the capital for the packaging industry, has proven successful based on early feedback.
Starting with an event in Olympia on Wednesday and Thursday (September 21 and 22), the show – which was hosted by Easyfairs – replaced Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging London, to align the branding with Easyfairs’ other European packaging events, ADF & PCD Paris, and Packaging Premiere in Milan.
The Olympia element of London Packaging Week consisted of four exhibitions: Packaging Premiere for the luxury goods market; PCD for perfume, make-up and toiletries; PLD for premium and luxury drinks; and Food & Consumer Pack for food.
Meanwhile, the Pentawards packaging awards this week also hosts the first in-person Pentawards festival at the Science Museum, featuring speakers from the global design and branding community. This will conclude tonight (23 September) with a ceremony at the Royal Opera House.
The Olympia exhibitions also hosted three separate galleries to showcase innovative and award-winning packaging design, while over the two days there were presentations on three seminar stages on the two floors of the event area, fully booked by 170 exhibitors.
Product introductions at the show included DBop, Denny Bros’ new multi-page label format that also accommodates inserts such as transfers.
Vetroplas expanded its recyclable offering with the introduction of a new flip-top cap made of HDPE for its 24/410 bottle, while BellaGiada showcased its new range of sustainable natural materials, including Reborn, the certified 100% recycled leather.
Speak with printing week Josh Brooks, marketing and community director for Easyfairs’ Wednesday afternoon packaging events in Olympia, said numbers were up around 25% last year from last year’s Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging London.
“The show looks great and there’s a really nice buzz in the room. We introduced new brands for this event, so we now have the four events in one, each with their own focus; the aim is to create a focus on spaces for both exhibitors and visitors.
“What I’ve learned so far from the feedback is that the exhibitors are booking for next year, which is very positive because it means they have a good show and meet good people. I also hear anecdotally that the quality of the visitors people see is very good.”
He said the new format “gives us a stronger message that this is the place to be in London”.
“The concept of London Packaging Week is in line with a design week or a fashion week; we’re creating that with this exhibition at its heart as the flagship event, but other things will come out of it as we evolve, and it brings in an idea of glamor and excitement.”
Brooks said the main themes on the show were sustainability, “which remains the biggest challenge for the market and will be for a long time to come”. Inflationary pressures and impending packaging regulations were also high on the agenda, as were inclusiveness, for example opening packaging and clear communication about packaging for the visually impaired.
exhibitors who printing week spoke at Olympia were also happy. George Welham, sales executive at Abbey Labels, said the show had been stable and the company had picked up “a fair amount” of leads.
“We don’t want to miss the opportunity to expose ourselves to these kinds of shows, but it’s also about generating as many leads as possible and then the hard work starts when we get back.”
Oliver Kleinman, head of marketing at The Meliora Group, whose companies Delga Press and Delga Labels exhibited, said: “We’ve exhibited here eight years in a row and we come for a variety of reasons – brand awareness is key, it’s great to network with other exhibitors and it’s great to meet new prospects looking for new and innovative solutions.
“We have some great case studies here that we can show and discuss, but it’s also a great platform to meet customers; a great opportunity where we can all come together in one place.”
The group brought a fully strong senior team to the show, ready to talk to visitors.
“Delga Press is one of the most important parts of [The Meliora Group]we are dealing with some very large clients in different sectors and so it is important that the entire management team from ownership to top management and beyond want to be involved, and enjoy being involved.”
Several paper merchants and suppliers also attended the event, including Antalis, Fedrigoni and DS Smith.
GMG Color produced packaging models on production substrates at its booth and marketing manager Amy Young said the company had recently introduced a driver for a Roland LEC printer that can print directly onto production substrates.
The company’s technology had previously controlled an Epson device that used proofing media, which is also still available to users.
Young said the show had been “good, and most of the interest was specifically for that.”
She added: “For us, it’s about speaking to brands and creative agencies who aren’t necessarily our target audience or direct clients, but who care about color most, so we’ve certainly had a lot of interest.”
Hybrid Software Group showcased the iC3D software suite, which generates photorealistic 3D virtual mock-ups on the fly, enabling accurate representation of boxes, labels, flexible packaging, bottles, shrink sleeves, POS displays and in-store visualization for design verification and e-commerce applications.
Hybrid acquired the iC3D business and assets from Creative Edge Software in March.
Hybrid CEO Mike Rottenborn said: “iC3D can be used for production or for design, or ideally both. [Our booth has] harassed this morning, and we also show the hybrid software tools like Packz, to integrate the design aspect into the production software.
“We’ve exhibited here in the past, and we did a similar event in New York a few months ago — people want to go back to trade shows to see what’s new and what’s going on.”
London Packaging Week will be held on the same dates next year – September 21 and 22, 2023 – but will move to the Excel exhibition center in East London.
“For the size of the show we have, Olympia is a good venue. But the show this year is bigger than last year when we were only downstairs and not upstairs on the balcony, and next year we will grow again,” Brooks said.
“This is a really nice venue, but there are other benefits to having a flat floor plan where we can divide the different shows in a potentially easier way.”