London Packaging Week organiser Easyfairs has declared the relocation of London Packaging Week to the ExCeL a huge hit after a ‘fantastic two days’ and record visitor numbers.
Having debuted last year at London’s Olympia event centre, London Packaging Week made the switch to the international exhibition and convention centre on the northern quay of the Royal Victoria Dock.
The event now comprises four exhibitions: Packaging Première for the luxury products market; PCD for perfume, make-up and toiletries; PLD for premium and luxury drinks; and Food & Consumer Pack for food and everyday packaging.
“Hosting London Packaging Week at ExCeL this year has been amazing,” said James Montero MacColl, Senior Marketing Manager for Easyfairs. “Our content and speaker programme has really stood out and helped to establish us as a major event for the packaging industry.
“The quality of the visitors has been very good, and the exhibitors were very happy. We’ve already secured a good number of re-bookings, and we’ve grown 50% year-on-year in terms of numbers, which is sensational. We were a little worried about the change in venue, but the move to the ExCeL has been well received and has been a fantastic two days.”
With packaging a constant in our everyday lives, this year’s theme appeared to be that packaging should be beautiful, functional, and sustainable; ideally, all three.
“We’ve had a seismic change in terms of the packaging being presented here,” said Paul Jenkins, packaging expert from ThePackHub. “When you look at packaging trends and what is coming on the market, it’s all about sustainability. The messaging and the packs on offer are all related to reducing the environmental footprint of packs.
“It never ceases to amaze me how creative the packaging industry is. Packaging is about much more than being a vehicle for goods. The industry is working hard to come up with some really creative solutions; you only have to take in some of the presentations from designers at the show to see this for yourself. A huge amount is happening here, and coming to the show is an absolute must if you want to see the latest innovations and design developments.”
Some of the new products being highlighted at the Innovation Showcase section included ‘Window Box’ bottle packaging from Flexi-Hex, a five-layer rigid pyramid-shaped chocolate box from Güneş Boxes & Packaging, and inclusive packaging with micro-embossed braille indications and a QR code area from Eviosys.
“The packaging industry at the moment is so exciting,” said Adam Ryan, Head of Pentawards. “But there are also a lot of things influencing the decisions that are being made. As an example, a few years ago, everyone was talking about sustainability, but now more people are talking about accessibility and inclusive design – and those are the next big things that everybody should be thinking about.
“Five or six years ago, the Pentawards would have been known more for aesthetically pleasing packaging, but now it’s more about the depth and purpose, and you can see that playing out right across the London Packaging Week exhibition.”
Montero MacColl added: “It’s about building an environment for brands to come and explore packaging alternatives and innovations and float ideas around with exhibitors. People came from Greggs, Innocent Juice, Unilever, PZ Cussons, Superdrug and Lush. We’ve been delighted with the number of big brands coming out for the event.
“Last year, we were at Olympia and had a successful show, but we wanted to bring it back to pre-COVID numbers and elevate the proposition, and I think we’ve managed to do that. We’re always looking to grow, so I think next year we’re moving to a Wednesday and Thursday show, but we’re looking to grow and find a bit more space.
“The numbers are a good marker, but we’re speaking to all the exhibitors to see how we can elevate the proposition for them to return. So yes, it’s about numbers, but it’s also about the quality of the visitors, and that means that people are actually going to come here and spend money, speak to exhibitors, and be prepared to work on projects.”