Easyfairs is a leading international event organiser, with a mission to unite communities and give them a vision of their future. The company organises over 200 time- and cost-effective events across Europe in a range of sectors including packaging, construction, art, logistics and transport, hospitality, pharmaceuticals and more.

Renan Joel, Divisional Director, Packaging at Easyfairs, speaks to Warehouse & Logistics News.

What are your best-known products/solutions/services?

Easyfairs is an international event organiser that runs more than 200 events across Europe. My division organises a series of exhibitions dedicated to driving business and innovation in the packaging market in the UK, France, Italy and Switzerland. In the UK, our biggest event is Packaging Innovations & Empack, which takes place at the NEC and unites professionals across the whole packaging journey. The Packaging Innovations part of the event focuses on materials, design and development of the primary and secondary packaging. Empack, meanwhile, showcases the latest technology and services for the processing, packing and filling of those products.

Which industry sectors are your customers in and which ones are growing fastest?

Packaging Innovations & Empack caters primarily to brands and buyers in the food, drinks, personal care and FMCG markets, and it also attracts some visitors from industries such as pharmaceuticals, beauty and luxury. On the exhibitor side, Empack plays host to the full range of packing and filling technologies – for instance, robotics, conveying, palletising, coding and marking, labelling and much more. There is a big section of the show, which we organise in partnership with the BCMPA, that is dedicated to contract manufacturers and logistics. And on the Packaging Innovations side, visitors will find products such as boxes, cans, labels, bottles, and all sorts of other packaging components.

What are your most recent product innovations?

Packaging Innovations & Empack has been the UK’s leading event for the packaging supply chain for more than 15 years and we work hard to keep it fresh and innovative. For the first time this year, we are running a dedicated conference stage for the packing and filling market and we will be covering topics such as the digital twin, collaborative robots, e-fulfilment and sustainable production.

What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?

Our conference programmes in particular are designed to help all our visitors – whether they are in packing and filling or in packaging development and design – to understand and find solutions to the key challenges. So we cover issues such as e-commerce, digital transformation, supply chain challenges, new design trends and so on. But in the world of packaging, sustainability is the topic that dominates most conversations. So we run a range of sessions at the event that feature expert speakers from brands and retailers that look at eco-developments for packaging, sustainable production practices, recycling and waste management, the latest in sustainable materials, and so on.

Can you tell us about any recent customer contracts and how you helped the customer meet their challenges?

For our exhibitors, we offer a range of market-leading lead generation tools. Our London event last December broke all the company records for leads generated for exhibitors so while it’s hard to point to a single example, it was great to see these products adding to the ROI of our exhibitors.

How does business in 2021 compare to previous years? What’s your strategy for succeeding in the current climate?

You can imagine that the pandemic has posed some challenges for the exhibitions industry as a whole. We have doubled down on three aspects. First has been keeping very close to our exhibitors and partners, ensuring that they are on the journey with us when we have not been able to run our events or have had to move dates – and we are very lucky to work with an amazing community of companies who have supported us all the way. Second is keeping very close to our visitor community and continuing to bring them content that inspires them to innovate – in particular through online Innovation Talks, through the expansion of our social media activities, and through the launch last year of a digital publication called Packaging in Focus. Third has been business development, and we have worked hard to seek out opportunities to launch new events or expand existing ones.

What’s the latest news from your company?

There have been some big headlines as a result of that business development work. First is the launch of Connect in Pharma, a new event in Geneva dedicated to packaging development, medical devices and processing in the pharmaceutical market. We are really excited about this new launch and the first edition will take place in September 2022. In London, we are repositioning our packaging events around the London Packaging Week brand from the September 2022 edition, with a beautiful new graphic identity. This unites four dedicated packaging innovation events – PCD for the beauty market, PLD for the drinks market, Food & Consumer Pack for the food and FMCG market and Packaging Première for the luxury products market. In Paris we have just launched Paris Packaging Week, which will take place in June and combines PCD, PLD and ADF, the world’s only annual event for the aerosol and dispensing market. And in Milan, we have launched an edition of PCD alongside the existing Packaging Première show.

Can you tell us about any areas where you’re currently making technical advances?

As I said earlier, sustainability is a really key issue in all aspects of this market. We don’t make packaging or process it; but we do work very hard to make sure that our events give our community a real vision of the future of packaging development, processing and the related technologies and services.

Are you investing in staff training and skills development?

Yes absolutely – at Easyfairs we have recently launched a Leadership Academy that is designed to develop the future leaders of the business, we have a well-established mentoring scheme and we invest heavily in both online and face-to-face training.

Are you taking part in any major trade shows? Can you tell us what you’ll be exhibiting there?

Well, we run the trade shows, so we’ll definitely see you there!

Packaging Innovations& Empack

w: www.packagingbirmingham.com


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