Packaging Innovations & Empack 2024: Record-breaking success

Packaging Innovations & Empack 2024: Record-breaking success

Events

Crowds of visitors, including dozens of the world’s leading brands, turned out for a record-breaking Packaging Innovations & Empack 2024 – the biggest edition of the UK’s flagship packaging exhibition yet.

The annual gathering of packaging professionals, which was once again packed with unmissable offerings, hosted a record 454 suppliers split across the three events: Packaging Innovations, Empack, and Contract Pack & Fulfilment, each creating a focused environment for packaging designers, developers, buyers and suppliers to meet and do business.

Organisers Easyfairs also confirmed that 6,900 unique visitors packed Halls 6, 7, and 8 of Birmingham’s NEC across the two days.

“It really has been a fantastic two days!” said Naomi Stewart, Marketing Manager at Easyfairs. “The atmosphere across the show has been electric, and there has just been this determination to make things happen and do business right from the get-go.

“Everywhere you look, big brands are getting around the table with often multiple suppliers to work out plans, knowledge and ideas are being shared around every corner, and when you distil all of that and more, there’s just a tangible sense of pride in the contribution that our industry makes to the everyday lives of people across the globe.

“Feedback has already been so positive from exhibitors and the visitors who turned out in their droves. 2024 proved that the offer to see things, talk directly to manufacturers, network and listen to the latest trends remains a huge pull.

“More exciting plans are already afoot for 2025, and we will announce those in due course, but for now, we are all ears to feedback, as listening has always been at the core of our ability to serve the packaging community better.”


TIPA Compostable Packaging, a global packaging developer, showcased its pioneering portfolio of compostable packaging solutions at Packaging Innovations. Gary Tee, Head of Sales Europe for TIPA, said: “We chose this event because of the audience we could put ourselves in front of. I’m really pleased with the turnout. If you’re not in the market talking and sharing information, then people don’t know what you have to offer, and this event allows us to do that. It’s always well attended with the right kind of people.

“The conversation continually moves on. The technical aspect of what you sell is important, but knowing how that fits in and the benefits it can bring further down the process is vital. If we want meaningful conversations with brands and retailers, this is the place to be.”

Monica Batistella, Sustainability Manager at Taghleef Industries, added: “I used to come here even prior to us having our own booth, and I’ve always found it fantastic. The level of conversation and discussions you have here fully reflects what is going on in the UK, and we need to look at all the stakeholders to understand what customers in the market expect from us and how we can help them. It’s a very big and important exhibition for the UK and the packaging industry.”

Josephine Coombe, Nulogy’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Packaging Innovations is a key event for us in our calendar, and we’ve been here every year for many years and always enjoy the show. There’s so much high-quality content on stage, and lots of our community come out to either visit or exhibit, so it’s a great platform for us.”


Dozens of exhibitors used the show to launch new packaging products and solutions, while the three dedicated stages hosted no less than 71 speakers across the two days. Highlights on stage included ex-Dyson Principal Engineer Ben Edmonds, who wowed a packed Innovation & Design stage audience with his talk on innovation in the workplace. At the same time, Sustainability Consultant to global brands and retailers Steve Lister lit up the Circular Economy Stage with his presentation on the key stages of sustainability for packaging, why sustainability matters, how sustainability has evolved and the key trends in 2024.

“I’ve had a great time here,” said Joanna Diaz, Sustainability Lead at Mondelēz. “There’s great variety and hundreds of high-quality suppliers and speakers. The show captures sustainability as a future trend.”

Jon Wells, Sustainable Packaging Manager at Asda, added: “It’s been a fantastic show. It’s been great to meet people and put names to faces. A lot of our work is done online; we meet people in Zoom calls, but it’s been a really good opportunity to actually get to meet people and talk about ideas and see what innovations are out there.”

Elsewhere, LEIPA Group’s Papair, the first bubble wrap made from 100% paper, was crowned winner of the Innovation Gallery and the most innovative packaging project of the past 12 months, while Lucy Boston, Head of Marketing & Communication at Carlton Packaging, Chris Yapp, Director at TRI-LOCKER, and Abigail Sawyer-Parker, Packaging Technologist at ProAmpac, each walked away with a Future Trailblazer award after their unique contributions to the future of packaging.

Attention now turns to London Packaging Week, with the two-day get-together scheduled for 11 & 12 September. Those interested can register their interest in attending, or book a stand now!

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