Inspired by wellness-conscious millennials’ desire for simple, wholesome snacks and…
One of the biggest dates on the packaging calendar, Packaging Innovations and Empack at Birmingham’s NEC, has been pushed back to June of next year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the events industry.
Easyfairs also confirmed that it would be launching an online industry publication Packaging in Focus, dedicated to a specific vertical sector per issue. It will include in depth features and opinion articles, with its first issue due out in January looking in detail at the food and beverage sector, to ensure the packaging community continues to have a resource to be informed on the most topical and pressing discussions of the moment. This will be complemented by a monthly series of online Discovery Day events, following on from the successful inaugural event in October, which will again focus on a single vertical sector for each event.
Renan Joel, Divisional Director for Easyfairs UK & Global’s packaging events, confirmed that the team has been overwhelmed by the support it has received from the industry as a whole for its event portfolio, developing initiatives and its crucial role in bringing the community together. “Since the pandemic first hit earlier this year, we have maintained our proximity to our community through regular webinars, which have been vital to keep the industry informed of the latest developments and discuss crucial issues during this time of massive upheaval and change,” he said.
“Additionally, we have worked tirelessly as a company to put in place numerous safety measures to ensure we can deliver events to the highest possible standards and have in fact run exhibitions in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium successfully, all of which have been accredited by the industry standard SGS for adherence to the highest safety standards. However, with the UK Government’s continuing social distancing measures, new lockdown in England and push-back on the go live date for exhibitions, it has become increasingly clear that we will not have the opportunity to organise the Birmingham event with the confidence that we will be able to open the doors at the start of March.
“We pride ourselves on the highest quality content and organisation, but the ongoing restrictions surrounding COVID-19 prevent us from having the lead time to do this successfully. Therefore, our only option is to delay the event until later in the year. With this move, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the industry will have the most valuable event in June 2021 to gather and reignite business opportunities as the world emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Easyfairs has been running weekly packaging Innovation Talks since March that have proved crucial for the packaging community’s continuing education and have consistently attracted hundreds of professionals for each event; these webinars are available on demand on the Packaging Innovations & Empack website. Its Discovery Day monthly series will launch in January and continue to run alongside the Innovation Talks. While the Innovation Talks continue to provide vital education to the sector, the Discovery Days will provide a digital platform to facilitate dialogue between packaging buyers and key suppliers by focusing on the latest innovations in the specific vertical sector. Sectors it has already confirmed will be covered include food and beverage, beauty and FMCG, with more to be unveiled in the new year.
Joel added: “2020 has been a very unusual year: the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone’s lives, and specifically in the exhibitions industry on the ability to bring people together to run live events over the past months, and it is clear that this will continue to impact on the first months of 2021. Although we are currently in challenging times, it has not only highlighted the potential of the digital world but also the true value humans place on meeting and interacting with one another in person. This gives us a very exciting opportunity to revitalise our event offering and reignite other opportunities through an increased digital – and even hybrid – presence.
“We made the decision to postpone the March edition in close consultation with our exhibitors, visitors and partners, taking into account their feedback and requirements and balancing the need for an opportunity to come together with the current circumstances surrounding the pandemic in the UK. Our top priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our exhibitors, visitors and staff. I would like to thank them all, and the wider packaging community, for their ongoing support and commitment to the event. It is clear that the industry is just waiting for the day that it can meet in person and reinvigorate those valuable business relationships and opportunities that come from face-to-face interaction.
“Our team never stops and is working hard on shaping our digital offering and an exceptional event in June 2021, full of high-quality content and business opportunities. Events will definitely play a huge role in the economic recovery.”