Packaging expo Packaging Innovations will be increasing its print presence when it returns to Birmingham in 2018.
Following on from a successful luxury and creative packaging-focused London show in September, attended by 4,300 visitors, the flagship Easyfairs expo will return to the NEC from 28 February to 1 March for its main event.
According to Easyfairs, the “growing influence of print” in the packaging market means that its confident that the sector will be strongly represented at next year's show, with a target of around 60 exhibitors in the dedicated label and print area of the show. Confirmed exhibitors include Epson, Domino and HP.
“A number of things are bringing print into play more and more in packaging,” said event director James Drake-Brockman.
“The continuing advances in technology mean more interesting things can be done through the medium of print, plus there’s a higher demand for short runs via digital printing.
“We have seen plenty of traditional printers and manufacturers taking an interest in packaging and in our exhibition. There are plenty of opportunities in packaging for them and plenty of challenges out there right now in other, more traditional markets.”
Around 300 to 350 exhibitors are expected at the event – split between Packaging Innovations, Empack, and the specialised Label & Print area, which is set to be the second-largest due to the size of certain stands, according to Drake-Brockman. Easyfairs is now targeting attendance figures around or above the 6,000 mark but Drake-Brockman said he “would always love to have more”.
Other exhibitors announced for the show include WestRock, Mark Andy and DaklaPack. Large international brands are expected to send teams to the event, including from the food, beverage and pharmaceuticals sectors.
HP has also been confirmed as sponsor for the networking bar, which will comprise part of the expo’s geography once again. According to Drake-Brockman, HP's interest was peaked after it took a smaller stand at the previous Birmingham show.
“They really enjoyed the opportunity to get in front of brand owners and tell them directly what their equipment and the firms using their tools can provide for them,” he said.
New to the show for 2018 will be the Showcase area, highlighting innovations from other industries that have the potential to influence packaging. There is also more than 20 hours of CPD-accredited seminar content set to be announced across five stages.