Creativity is alive and well: Packaging Innovations success shows reignited industry

Creativity is alive and well: Packaging Innovations success shows reignited industry

As the curtains draw on another successful edition of the Packaging Innovations and Empack exhibition, Joanna Stephenson, panellist and Managing Director of PHD Marketing, believes the UK packaging industry has cause to celebrate.

Held 21-22 February at the Birmingham NEC, the 2024 event saw record footfall and showcased a remarkable array of design, material, and format innovations from packaging businesses, tailored to meet the needs of today’s brands and consumers.

The event, hosted by Easyfairs, serves as a specialist space for packaging designers, developers, buyers, and suppliers to connect, collaborate and ignite creativity. This year’s edition boasted over 400 leading suppliers in attendance, attracting almost 7,000 visitors across the two days, and featured more than 50 panel and seminar speakers.

Joanna commented on the significance of the event’s success: “For those of us that have been in the industry a long time, the atmosphere and energy of this year’s Packaging Innovations and Empack, organised by the talented team at Easyfairs, is unmistakable. It was fantastic to not just see the incredible innovations that meet today’s evolving consumer needs, but how actively the attendees were engaging with it. We saw paper and plastic designed for a more circular tomorrow, creative use of recycled materials, equipment that enables supply chain automation and branding and design that catches both the eye and the imagination.

“What we’re seeing is that despite mounting pressures in sustainability, packaging designers are pushing material and design technology further than it’s ever been before. Despite the villainisation of packaging in today’s media discourse, as they say, ‘rumours of its demise have been greatly exaggerated’. We are, in fact, entering another golden age of UK packaging design.”

Addressing key operational and personnel issues affecting the UK packaging sector, Joanna participated in two panel discussions during the event, ‘The future of packaging education: Attracting and retaining top talent’ and ‘Women in Manufacturing Initiative: The ball has started rolling…’. Both panels centred around how the packaging sector can create a more inclusive environment from the factory to the boardroom and attract new talent into the industry.

She added: “Events like Packaging Innovations and Empack are not just an opportunity for brand owners to explore new packaging technologies, they’re also a great opportunity for us to talk through shared pressure points and strategise as a collective industry. I was honoured to take part in discussion panels at Packaging Innovations that dug into significant workforce challenges, and the overall takeaway message for the industry is that there’s a lot to look forward to over the coming years. We’re true packaging evangelists at PHD Marketing, and we look forward to helping our print and packaging clients to convey this momentum through connected and strategic communications.”


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Posted by: Danny