Countdown to innovation: What to expect at Packaging Innovations & Empack 2024

Countdown to innovation: What to expect at Packaging Innovations & Empack 2024

Events

Sustainability, legislation latest, and the future of packaging – this year’s showcase has it all.

Keeping up the cutting edge of a fast-moving industry like packaging isn’t easy. That’s why, once a year, we muster the industry under one roof at the Birmingham NEC in one blockbuster showcase. Packaging Innovations & Empack is the event where the next generation of packaging projects is born. And 2024’s event is the most insight-packed, inspiring, and forward-thinking yet. Read on for a complete guide to what’s on at this year’s two-day showcase.

Packaging Innovations

One of the highlights of the global packaging industry’s calendar, Packaging Innovations is the premier event for professionals in packaging, NPD, R&D, marketing, buying, branding, and design. It connects key decision-makers from the packaging and FMCG worlds, celebrating the innovations of today and shaping the trends of tomorrow.

Empack

If Packaging Innovations is about the art of packaging, then Empack is about the science. The Empack area focuses on packaging and logistics technology, bringing together warehousing, supply chain managers, directors, and more and connecting them with decision-makers from brands looking to find new efficiencies in their business operations.

Contract Pack & Fulfilment

Hosted by the BCMPA, Contract Pack & Fulfilment is laser-focused on connecting you with the outsourcing partners you need to support your business goals. From brand owners to retailers, there’s a value-adding solution here for everyone. Contract packing, contract manufacturing, filling services, fulfilment services, and more – if you need support to unlock the full potential of your business, find some time to visit Contract Pack & Fulfilment.

The Foodservice Packaging Zone

After a successful introduction in 2023, the Foodservice Packaging Zone is back this year. Designed in collaboration with the Foodservice Packaging Association, this area is all about promoting inspiring collaborations between foodservice packaging specialists and brands. As the foodservice industry continues to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the post-pandemic market, this is not to be missed!

Conference stages

Our packed programme of talks and events is spread across three stages, meaning the insights you gain from the show can be as broad or as focused as you like. The Innovation & Design Stage looks at the shape of packaging to come, with speakers including Ben Edmonds, the former Principal Engineer at Dyson who will share his unmissable insights on innovation, and Paul Davidson of Innovate UK, who will discuss the potential of reuse and refill solutions.

The Supply Chain & Manufacturing Stage, meanwhile, is a must-visit for anyone looking to find efficiencies in their supply chains. It covers end-to-end supply chain processes, label and print, software systems, and more. Topics include the external supply chain network, insights on collaboration from Fraser Doherty MBE, co-founder of Beer52, and a timely roundtable on women in manufacturing.

Finally, all the burning issues around sustainability will be unpacked on the Circular Economy Stage. This stage hosts a must-see talk by Emma Bourne OBE, Director of Resources and Waste at Defra. Given the headlines generated by Defra’s continuing attempts to roll out EPR and other packaging regulations, this insight-packed half-hour presentation on the UK Government’s plans to work with the industry should be a highlight of the show. Other speakers include Margaret Bates, Managing Director at OPRL, and Felix Gruenewald, a Partner at McKinsey & Company, who will share crucial consumer insights on sustainable packaging.

Future Trailblazer event

The future of packaging will be shaped by the industry’s brightest young talent. Some of tomorrow’s biggest innovators may only have recently broken into the industry. Now in its second year, the Future Trailblazer event, held in partnership with IOM3 Packaging Group and Mercury Search & Selection, shines a spotlight on some of the brightest young talent in the industry, who haven’t let a relative lack of experience stop them from going above and beyond in their short careers so far.

The audience at the event, held on the Circular Economy Stage on Thursday 22 February, will learn insights and predictions about the future of packaging from the talented individuals who will go on to shape it.

Networking events and VIP Lounge

Amidst the hectic pace of the show floor, sometimes it’s nice to slow down, catch up with your colleagues, and relax. That’s what our VIP Lounge is for – and this year, it’s new and improved with more charging points for those of you who can’t stop firing off emails from the show floor. And, of course, the cocktail and prosecco bars will be open!

You’ll also find networking spaces across the show floor where you can collaborate and build new partnerships – or revisit old ones – to inspire your next great packaging project. This will be supported by The Connection Clinic – a lively networking event held on Wednesday 21 February on the Supply Chain & Manufacturing Stage.

A packed show floor

With all of this on your schedule, you might not have much free time to explore. But setting aside some time to browse the booths on a sold-out show floor will help you make the most of your experience.

Everyone leaves Packaging Innovations with something, whether it’s a handshake on a deal, a new contact, or just a new idea. And, when you’re walking around the show floor, you’re never more than a few steps away from a flash of inspiration. With innovation around every corner, your next great packaging project could well start with a chance encounter on the show floor – so get involved and get inspired!

Visitor tickets are still available at the registration link.

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