In 2010 Smithers Pira launched its flagship packaging conference - the Pira Packaging Summit. The unique format of the Summit was designed for senior decision-makers and strategists and provided a platform for assessing current drivers and future scenarios. This year's event took place on 13-14 November 2012 at the London Hilton on Park Lane, London, and run in association with Packaging News, was a roaring success.
In addition to benefiting from this new partnership, the Pira Packaging Summit programme was guided, not only by Smithers Pira's expert consultants but also by an expert industry advisory board, representing all levels of the supply chain, ensuring that all of the issues currently facing the industry were included on the conference programme.
The one and a half day conference featured great speakers and interactive discussion amongst all participants and the conference began with Richard McCole of PwC and Nick Mockett of Moorgate Capital doing a great job of setting the scene, and providing an important reminder that while the global economic outlook is gloomy, there are still plenty of opportunities for innovation and growth in the packaging sector.
In order to take advantage of these opportunities it was a clear message from many speakers that there is great importance in collaboration and partnerships along the value chain, and this was highlighted in a number of case studies from leading companies from various levels of the supply chain, including Stora Enso, Mondelez International and Dow Europe. A key aim of working together is to paint a better picture for packaging and to communicate further that packaging is not part of the problem, but is part of the solution, especially in terms of food waste, and it is crucial that the industry moves to communicate to consumers the benefits of investment in new technologies to prolong shelf life etc.
Especially in this age of sharing and networking, we must learn to be open, not only with the consumer, but also with each other and start a dialogue to learn from each other, as demonstrated by Larissa Laternser of Ball Packaging Europe, detailing the recent dosionair.de initiative led by Ball and the brand owners they work with throughout Germany. The aim of this project was to engage with consumers and to boost recycling rates of metal packaging,
Another lesson to come out of the conference discussions; was the importance of creating a dialogue with consumers through packaging. This dialogue will become even more important as the next generation become the majority consumer group and Antoinette Devine, of SABMiller showed a thoughtful video demonstrating just that.
Engagement with consumers can be boosted by creating a clearer message on packaging as explained by Su Abeysuriya of the Big Picture, in her very insightful presentation entitled less politics, more penguins, in which she detailed the importance of evoking emotions through packaging, to help consumers buy into a brand. The consistent message was that packaging is an enabler and engager, particularly in consumers' own homes and if it makes the right sounds, it can create an important "Halo Effect" as described by Helene Roberts of Sealed Air in her closing keynote address.
Another important message driven home by Helene was that sustainability is not a fad and it will continue to disrupt the future of packaging and a key take away for all was in order to remain competitive in the future marketplace, we all must consider sustainability in every business area. So where are you on the sustainability consortium?
>> Hear what attendees had to say about the event
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