A successful first Virtual Label Summit

Labelexpo’s first Virtual Label Summit, concluded on 2nd October with 333 attendees from Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia. The event also had 30 high-profile guest speakers from across the global label and package printing industry.

The five-day event was designed around five key themes against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic: the global landscape; converter business markets and opportunities; futureproofing your business; sales and marketing opportunities; and branding and design.

Day one included a journey inside two pressrooms that have successfully adapted their operations. This extremely well-attended session started with Christie Wong Barrett, CEO, and Thomas Barrett, president, both of MacArthur Corporation in the US, while Anuj Bhargava, founder, Kumar Labels, continued the journey at his pressroom in India. An equally popular editorial panel led by Labels & Labeling magazine’s global team later shared its collective insight into label market trends around the world. Digital printing, sustainability, converters seeking creative ways to pivot, automation and diversification were all highlighted as the top trends to watch.

Sessions of day two included presentations led by Chris Ellison, managing director, OPM (Labels and Packaging) and president of FINAT, who set out how the UK-based label converter moved into the lucrative flexible packaging market. He also provided valuable tips and advice for anyone looking to similarly diversify, which was also the theme of a lively and popular global converter CEO panel discussion on post COVID-19 recovery. Moderated by TLMI president Linnea Keen, panelists included: Charlie MacLean, president and CEO, ASL Print FX (Canada); Mark Glendenning, CEO, Inland (USA); Isidore Leiser, CEO, Stratus Packaging (France); Sachen Gudka, CEO, Skanem Interlabels (Kenya); and David Richards, managing director, Amberley Labels (UK).

Day three included sessions led by Claudia St. John, president, Affinity HR, who spoke on leading a team through a season of crisis, providing tips on how to manage stress in these COVID-19 times. Labelexpo’s strategic director, Andy Thomas-Emans later provided a popular technology update, highlighting automation and AI, diversification into flexible packaging, hybrid printing and sustainability as key trends to watch. Rounding off the day was a converter panel that discussed alternatives to landfill.

Day four included a popular session given by Vicki Strull, principal, Vicki Strull Design, who presented ways of designing innovative and impactful products. This theme was continued in a later presentation on successful omnichannel marketing. Moderated by Ken Theriot, executive director, TheRiot Agency, speakers were Jesse Freitas, marketing director, StickerGiant, and Adam Peek, business development and channel partner manager, Fortis Solutions Group.

The concluding day of the conference included a session taking attendees through a disruptive package design for Procter & Gamble – from research and development, to commercialization, to launch. Moderated by David Lukshus, president, Cog LLC, speakers were: Ken McGuire, research fellow, Procter & Gamble; Cedric D'Souza, chief technology officer, AeroFlexx; and Ben Greengrass, creative director, ThoughtMatter.

Lisa Milburn, managing director for Labelexpo Global Series, said: “We are extremely pleased with the response to our first Virtual Label Summit. Our objective was to bring the global industry together under a single online platform, in order to learn, inspire and share insight and knowledge, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event didn’t disappoint, and proved a fantastic opportunity for speakers, suppliers and printers to connect. My thanks go to all the presenters, moderators and sponsors for taking part and for making it such a success.”

Milburn added: “The appetite for learning doesn’t stop with this event however, which is why we are making all the material from the summit available to attendees for the next three months. Additionally, anyone who was unable to attend can still buy a pass to view the content. We are also exploring the potential for hosting further online events outside of Labelexpo shows in the coming months. Of course, these cannot replace the live show experience that’s so vital for keeping our dynamic industry moving forwards, but rather, will complement our future live shows. We look forward to meeting exhibitors, partners, colleagues and attendees once again at Labelexpo shows in Chicago, Brussels and Shanghai in 2021”.


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