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A spotlight on UK packaging exhibitions - where to go
Packaging is a far more interesting and dynamic world than many people realise. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to monitor the biggest trade shows.
Every firm will generally seek to deliver products in the best packaging possible, but this can mean any number of things according to the state of the market and waves of public opinion. It could be combination of being the cheapest, safest, greenest and most effective packaging, as well as being aesthetically pleasing in many instances.
If you want to make sure you are staying on top of the latest innovations in the packaging industry, then check to see when the following events are taking place...
One of the biggest shows each year is the Packaging Innovations exhibition, which benefits not only from being one of the foremost platforms for the latest ideas to be presented and discussed in seminars, but also co-locates with five other related events. So, once you have taken stock of what is happening at the forefront of the world of packaging and made a few new contacts, you can check out the rest...
Ecopack, perhaps obviously, is all about being green - so any firms that want to cut down their carbon footprint can find out about new technologies, materials and designs here. Contract Pack is an area devoted to outsourcing manufacturing, processing or logistics, while Packtech looks at the off-the-shelf and bespoke packaging supplies on the market.
The two other sections are Print Innovations and Labelling Innovations, which could be interesting to visit, but are not quite as 'core' as the other sections.
For brands in the food and drinks sector, Pro2Pac may be an essential occasion each year, as it showcases and discusses all the latest packaging options for storing, transporting and consuming products in this industry. A lot of major names tend to be associated with this event and it is not just packaging but processing too that gets put under the spotlight.
Pro2Pac also co-locates with ife (international food and drink event), so you may have the chance to look into some new products, in addition to the packaging such items are wrapped in. Again, there is a real focus on innovation and boosting suppliers' route to market.
Total Processing and Packaging
In keeping with the spirit of co-location, Total Processing and Packaging is another occasion that combines several key areas of focus into one major UK event. For those interested in packaging design, machinery, materials or services, then Pakex is perhaps the best section to go to - it is more of a general area for the industry.
For companies keen to investigate the latest packaging and processing machinery, then the PPMA Show section will be the place to go, as it has a huge range of equipment suitable for a range of sectors. Finally, manufacturers from the pharmaceutical and bio-technology industries have their own section in the shape of the Interphex area.
There will always be new shows popping up and old shows dying out, but if you attend these occasions regularly you will no doubt be made aware of big changes. Aside from events like these, you may also want to keep an eye on related areas, such as conferences on sustainability in business, logistics shows or those events that look at innovations in product development.
Another key area to look at is when an awards show takes place - for instance, the UK Packaging Awards - as this will help you look at some of the finest examples of packaging - and perhaps learn something from it.
Finally, and arguably most importantly, if you get the chance you should try to attend the odd international event. Shows such as the European Packaging Summit, Interpack or the US's PackExpo could provide you with a host of new ideas about how you could use packaging in inventive or more effective ways.