EskoWorld makes live event return

Hundreds of packaging professionals benefit from demos, discussions, and more

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EskoWorld
Hundreds head to Texas for event featuring more than 120 sessions, presentations, and more at the EskoWorld live event. Photo Esko

Optimizing operations through automation and digitization and the importance of collaboration and communication were the dominant themes of EskoWorld 2022, which made a successful return as a live event in Texas.

From 7 – 9 June, more than 450 packaging and label converters and industry experts convened at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center & Resort in Grapevine, near Dallas, for the eagerly awaited return of the premier technology-focused event for packaging professionals.

“As this was our first live event in three years, we secured a bumper line-up of more than 120 sessions, demonstrations and workshops, and truly inspiring and thought-provoking speakers,” said Melissa Plemen, Esko senior director of Inside Sales and Marketing. “For two-and-half packed days, we looked at how the latest developments in automation, digitization, and connectivity through cloud-based solutions will help businesses overcome the challenges they face today and those on the horizon.”

Jan De Roeck, Esko’s director of Marketing, Industry Relations and Strategy, kicked off the event with a thought-provoking presentation that set the tone for the rest of the event. “Jan’s opening speech detailed how the need to accelerate digital transformation was being exacerbated by the ever-changing challenges faced by businesses today,” said Plemen. “He contextualized how businesses need to digitize, automate and connect in order to not only keep pace with the demands of their customers but also to thrive in the future.”

EskoA keynote speech from Maimouna Diakhaby, associate partner at intelligence experts McKinsey, then examined the five key industry trends McKinsey identified in 2019 that have further evolved during the pandemic. “An expert in the global paper and packaging industry, Maimouna detailed how sustainability, eCommerce, and digitalization would be the key trends in the industry for the coming decade,” said Plemen. “Following these two insightful presentations on day one, we enjoyed more than one hundred sessions dedicated to helping attendees stay ahead of the rapidly evolving trends in our industry.”

A special interaction suite – featuring continuous live demonstrations of everything from 3D technology that helps packaging designers achieve maximum on-shelf standout through to 100% inline printing inspection for narrow web and labels – proved incredibly popular with visitors from around the world, while some of the dedicated sessions were so popular they ended up being standing room only.

The event’s closing speaker was Randy Pierce, president and chief executive officer ofEsko Future in Sight, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of those who are blind, visually impaired, and their families. Randy began losing his sight in his early 20s and has been totally blind since 2000. “Randy and his guide dog Swirl had the entire convention enrapt as he delivered a wonderfully inspirational account of how collaboration, communication, and connection were the keys to success,” said Plemen.

The 2022 event marked EskoWorld’s return to a live setting, having not been able to welcome attendees in person since 2019, making it the most anticipated EskoWorld to date.

“With one of our most packed ever schedules, covering everything from software workshops, trend analysis, and panel discussions, EskoWorld 2022 offered new opportunities for shared learning, networking, and discovery,” said Plemen. “We’re thrilled that so many of our customers, colleagues, and partners joined us at our first in-person event in such a long time, and it was a pleasure to host some of the leading lights of the industry and customer presentations from global brands like Danone, Alcon, and Padagis.

“While it was great to catch up with friends and colleagues for the first time in three years, more importantly, we know the takeaways will be vital for manufacturers and converters looking to optimize operations in the post-pandemic market,” she added. “The industry is still trending strongly towards eCommerce, with an increased focus on sustainability issues and food-safe packaging, and attendees can now use Esko solutions more effectively to digitize, automate, and connect processes to boost efficiency, reduce waste, and increase print quality.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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