As Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London 2019 prepares to return to the Olympia on 11 & 12 September, James Drake-Brockman, Divisional Director of Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio, discusses plans for the show.

Why should the event be in all packaging professionals’ calendars?

Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London 2019 provides packaging professionals with the perfect platform to network with peers and discover the latest developments within the industry. With the largest line-up of exhibitors, both UK based and international, that we have ever welcomed to the event, and hundreds of product launches, it is set to be our biggest show to date. On top of our industry-leading suppliers, the event also offers visitors the opportunity to get hands-on with the latest, most cutting-edge packaging innovations, which they simply can’t do anywhere else.

The packed show floor will be joined by our extremely popular, free-to-attend conference programme as well as networking events and interactive features. These have all been designed to give visitors access to the tools they need to reimagine their packaging, increase brand awareness and boost their bottom-line.

You’re celebrating 10 years of the show this year, what can visitors expect to see?

We are very excited to be back for our 10th edition this year and I can confirm that there will be plenty of birthday activity happening across both days of the show. We have some fantastic show features in the pipeline which will aim to highlight how far the packaging industry has come in the last decade. Considering it has been a relatively short space of time, the progress that has been made is astonishing and the industry has come on leaps and bounds, so we are looking forward to celebrating this at the show.

It also wouldn’t be a birthday without cake, and we have something special in store for our Networking Drinks at the end of day one. Don’t miss this one!

What will the conference programme have on offer?

Design is going to be an even bigger focus for 2019 and we are delighted to welcome back the Pentawards Exhibit and Pentawards Conference. For those looking to discover globally renowned packaging designs and hear from the brightest minds in the luxury packaging sector, it is a must-attend part of the show. With speakers from major names including Mars already confirmed, the Pentawards Conference is set to be a real highlight of the show this year. The Pentawards Gala will also be taking place at the end of day two and will bring together the global packaging design community to celebrate the winners of the most coveted prize in the industry, helping to further deepen the show’s connection with world-class design.

Also on the agenda, will be the major issue of sustainability, as some of the biggest names in the industry from the likes of Green Alliance, Biffa, Waste Aid and Veolia, join the Big Plastics Debate when it returns to further the conversation on plastics in packaging and build on the groundwork laid by the industry in recent years. Subjects up for discussion include sustainable packaging, materials, recyclability, food waste, reusable packaging and the environmental impact of packaging.

Finally, the Main Stage will host a series of sector-specific forums for our vertical markets, focussing on the retail and e-commerce, beauty, drinks and food industries. These sessions will be very relevant and specific to our visitors needs and challenges. Other speakers joining the line-up include experts from BrewDog, Manchester University and Heriot Watt University, with many more big names yet to be announced.

What news is there on suppliers?

Not only do we have new suppliers on board this year, but after 78% of our exhibitors rebooked their stands following the show last year, we are also welcoming back more previous exhibitors than ever before. In terms of suppliers at the show, Luxury Packaging will host the likes of Hunter Premium Packaging, Lucas Luxury Packaging, Item Products, Fleet Luxury, Cole Fabrics, MW Luxury, Zone Creations, Arcade Beauty, Dapy, Eurotextile, Curtis Packaging, Croxsons, Favini, Billerud Korsnäs, and Montagne Custom Packaging. On the Packaging Innovations side, we have Aegg, Schur Star Systems, RPC M&H Plastics, Robinson Packaging Innovation, Intercontinental Procurement, Antalis, Baralan International, Surepak, New Vision Packaging, Huhtamäki and Toly, amongst others.

As always, innovation remains at the heart of the show and the What’s New Wall will perfectly demonstrate this. Attendees can visit the wall which will detail suppliers showcasing new products, and where they can be found at the show. I can’t wait to see what launches take place on the show floor and get hands-on with each one when the doors open on the 11th September.