First Virtual Label Summit concludes Successfully
14 October 2020: Labelexpo’s first Virtual Label Summit, which took place recently, attracted 333 attendees from Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia. The event also drew in 30 high-profile guest speakers from across the global label and package printing industry.
Taking place online between 28 September and 2 October 2020, with sessions broadcast early in US Central Time to maximize participation from around the world, the five-day event was designed around five key themes against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic: the global landscape; converter business markets and opportunities; futureproofing your business; sales and marketing opportunities; and branding and design.
Highlights from day one, which was also powered by the Label Academy, included a journey inside two pressrooms that have successfully adapted their operations. This extremely well-attended session started with Christie Wong Barrett, CEO, and Thomas Barrett, president, both of MacArthur Corporation in the US, while Anuj Bhargava, founder, Kumar Labels, continued the journey at his pressroom in India. An equally popular editorial panel led by Labels & Labeling magazine’s global team later shared its collective insight into label market trends around the world. Digital printing, sustainability, converters seeking creative ways to pivot, automation and diversification were all highlighted as the top trends to watch.
Day two highlights included an informative, extremely well-attended session led by Chris Ellison, managing director, OPM (Labels and Packaging) and president of FINAT, who set out how the UK-based label converter moved into the lucrative flexible packaging market. He also provided valuable tips and advice for anyone looking to similarly diversify, which was also the theme of a lively and popular global converter CEO panel discussion on post COVID-19 recovery. Moderated by TLMI president Linnea Keen, panelists included: Charlie MacLean, president and CEO, ASL Print FX (Canada); Mark Glendenning, CEO, Inland (USA); Isidore Leiser, CEO, Stratus Packaging (France); Sachen Gudka, CEO, Skanem Interlabels (Kenya); and David Richards, managing director, Amberley Labels (UK).
Day three highlights included two well-attended sessions, kicking off with a presentation led by Claudia St. John, president, Affinity HR, who spoke on leading a team through a season of crisis, providing tips on how to manage stress in these COVID-19 times. Labelexpo’s strategic director, Andy Thomas-Emans later provided a popular technology update, highlighting automation and AI, diversification into flexible packaging, hybrid printing and sustainability as key trends to watch. All of these will be much in evidence at Labelexpo Americas 2021, which is set to include a feature showcasing hybrid printing and finishing. Rounding off the day was a converter panel that discussed alternatives to landfill. Sponsored and produced by TLMI, and moderated by its vice president of sustainability, Rosalyn Bandy, panelists were: John Dultz, process improvement manager, CCL; Mark Howard, vice president, graphic services, Syracuse Label and Surround Printing; Brian Hurst, vice president, operations, Yerecic Label; John Crosby, vice president, operations, Grand Rapids Label; and Jesse Hood, director of quality and continuous improvement, Hub Labels.
Day four highlights included a popular session given by Vicki Strull, principal, Vicki Strull Design, who presented ways of designing innovative and impactful products. This theme was continued in a later presentation on successful omnichannel marketing. Moderated by Ken Theriot, executive director, TheRiot Agency, speakers were Jesse Freitas, marketing director, StickerGiant, and Adam Peek, business development and channel partner manager, Fortis Solutions Group.
Highlights from the final day of the conference included a session taking attendees through a disruptive package design for Procter & Gamble-from research and development, to commercialization, to launch. Moderated by David Lukshus, president, Cog LLC, speakers were: Ken McGuire, research fellow, Procter & Gamble; Cedric D’Souza, chief technology officer, AeroFlexx; and Ben Greengrass, creative director, ThoughtMatter.