This double exhibition platform also increased its internationality, with 12% of the total number of visitors coming from abroad, mainly from Portugal, which accounts for 20% of foreign visitors, followed by Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Andorra and Poland. Outside of Europe, the most numerous professionals have come from Mexico, Algeria, Turkey, Morocco, Colombia, USA and Tunisia. It confirms, then, the convening power of the show in the Mediterranean area and Latin America.

In the field of internationalisation, it is worth highlighting the more than 1,000 business meetings scheduled between the exhibitors and the buyers invited by the organisation through commercial delegations and inverse missions from 15 countries coordinated by AMEC in order to help boost exports of materials and Spanish packaging technology.

The president of Hispack 2018, Javier Riera-Marsá, underlined "the business climate, the atmosphere of optimism and the intense activity developed in the stands that confirms Hispack as the essential event to boost the Spanish packaging industry." Riera-Marsá also assures that “this Hispack has reflected the strength and innovation of the packaging sector and its good international positioning.” Great reception of activitiesIn addition to promoting the business, Hispack has been a privileged observation point to publicize the major trends that define the transformation of packaging. In this regard, 120 lectures, 4 workshops and 17 activities have been held at Hispack in which a total of 209 speakers have participated.

Regarding the topics of the “Hispack challenges” we have talked about circular economy strategies in the packaging industry; of formulas to combat food waste via active packaging; and innovation in more sustainable materials. There have also been conferences on reverse logistics, packaging and e-commerce; collaborative robotics; artificial vision; automation of the supply chain; cases of digitisation success in packaging; and on the roadmap to the packaging industry 4.0. The presentations on branding have had a great following; design; personalisation; gamification; trends in premium packaging; and optimisation of the packaging use experience.

The events that stood out were: the workshop given by Eurecat on Design Thinking or the augmented reality in packaging by Supercitys; the demonstration of collaborative robotics coordinated by Leitat; the exhibition of the main projects of R&D in sustainability in packaging developed by technological centres, clusters and entities; and a sample of innovative products in terms of packaging design and use experience by agencies and brands, as well as an exhibition of Elisava student projects. There have also been 56 sessions of “Coffee with Experts” that have encouraged networking between speakers and conference attendees.

The conferences of the Packaging & Shopper Marketing Zone coordinated by Graphispack Association also addressed the issues related to packaging as an element of marketing and sales and its relationship with retail, as well as the influence of graphic technology in the production of packaging, containers and labels. For its part, the Spanish Association of Beverage Cans held a conference focused on the challenges related to the recycling of this type of packaging.

The director of Hispack, Xavier Pascual, highlighted “the excellent reception of the fair’s commitment to highlight the innovation that is transforming the packaging industry, focusing on digitisation, sustainability, logistics and user experience of containers and packaging.” For Pascual, “The interest that the contents of the fair generated among the visitors proves the strategic role that packaging is playing on all economic sectors.” Sectoral recognitionHispack gave recognition to people, companies and entities linked to the Spanish packaging industry that, for their dedication, collaboration and career, have helped to promote the show and the knowledge of the packaging sector. The event, chaired by the general director of Fira de Barcelona, Constantí Serrallonga, served as thanks to the trust placed by the partner companies, as well as the involvement of various supply-demand entities that have helped make this edition a reality. Four members of the organizing committee of Hispack were also distinguished for their work: Albert Isern; Miguel Aballe; Miquel Heredia and Lluís Maria Ginjaume and the trajectory of more than twenty companies that in this 2018 are celebrating their anniversary.

Also, Hispack was the scene of the delivery ceremony of the Liderpack Awards, the most important packaging and POS awards that are granted in Spain. A total of 29 works collected their trophy. From the hand of Graphispag, the award ceremony for the Visual Communication and Graphic Environment Awards was also held.

The next edition of Hispack will take place from 20 to 23 April 2021