Label Congress 2021 unveils educational program

To feature line-up of speakers from across the label and package printing industry

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Label Congress 2021
Photo Keji Gao on Unsplash

A line-up of speakers from across the label and package printing industry are set to take part in the Label Congress 2021 educational program that will run alongside the main exhibition on the first two days of the show. It is said to be the first live event of its kind to take place this year in North America.                      

The program includes a two-day topical conference offering a mix of 10 presentation and panel-led sessions taking place on 29 and 30 September. A Label Academy-led technical master class also takes place on the third day of the show. 

Day one (29 September 2021) of the conference focuses on global market trends and key technologies. Among the session highlights is the opening joint presentation providing a global market view, led by TLMI president Linnea Keen and AWA president Corey Reardon. Other day one highlights include Filip Weymans, vice president global marketing, Flint Group Digital/Xeikon, and AB Graphic International’s west coast regional sales manager Jim Kehring, who will present on digital embellishment technology. Other session topics include a panel discussion examining whether converters should diversify into flexible packaging, with panelists including Matt Bennett, global vice president, packaging strategy, Fujifilm; and a further panel discussion looking at the benefits of hybrid printing. Avery Dennison will also present on how to get smarter with the Internet of Things. Participating converters include Mark Wegmann, owner of Wegmann Companies, AWT, and Premier Markings.

Day two (30 September 2021) is themed around future-proofing your business. Highlights include the opening session on data transparency, led by Federico D’Annunzio, founder of transpar3nt.com and winner of the 2020 Label Industry Global Award’s global achievement honor. Mike Rottenborn, chief executive officer, Global Graphics, Geert Van Damme, managing director, Cerm, and Robert Buongiorno, president, BST North America, are among the panelists at a later discussion on how far industry 4.0 and automation can go; while sustainability is the topic of another panel discussion featuring Julian Cass, vice president North America NW, Flint Group, Kevin Clunie, vice president sales & marketing / CELAB vice president, Mactac, and Abby Meyer, research engineer, Belmark. Other topics to be debated include creating a culture of continuous improvement and how to recruit/retain young talent.

Additionally, the in-depth master class hosted by the Label Academy on 1 October will cover self-adhesive label materials. Delegates will gain a technical understanding of the nature and construction of self-adhesive laminates, how they are made, the importance of materials, and the need for different adhesives. They will also learn why different laminate constructions are needed, their usage, how to identify them, and different self-adhesive testing procedures. Presenters include Cynthia Frost White, president, and chief executive officer, Channeled Resources Group, who will provide an overview of release liner substrates (papers and films), and Melissa David, product line manager – packaging division, FLEXcon, who will cover identification and characteristics of self-adhesive materials.  Avery Dennison will present on paper and synthetic paper face materials, while 3M will guide attendees through some of the adhesive systems and substrates.

All conference sessions will be made available on-demand the day after they take place. Tasha Ventimiglia, Label Congress 2021 event director, comments, “We are very much looking forward to bringing the industry back together at the only event of its kind this year in North America. Industry learning is an ongoing process, so we are delighted to be able to offer an on-site opportunity for attendees to continue this as we move into the post-pandemic recovery phase, with a high caliber of speakers tackling the industry’s most pressing topics. What’s more, by also making this content available on-demand digitally, we can offer this learning opportunity to a wider global audience that is unable to attend in person.” 

Echoing this, Corey Reardon says “I am looking forward to participating in one of the first in-person industry gatherings since the start of the pandemic, and am also looking forward to supporting this event by providing insights, alongside Linnea Keen of TLMI, on the labeling and product decoration market.  Together, Linnea and myself will set the stage for this premier labeling event, creating an interactive “offline” exchange of information, thoughts, and insights, reflecting the challenges and opportunities in a post Covid-19 label industry.”

Mike Rottenborn adds, “Innovation is especially strong in the labels and packaging market so we are pleased to join the panel discussion on automation which is the next logical step for this dynamic sector to take. Digital presses need to be smarter to take their place in the smart print factory, and greater automation will not only bring greater productivity to production lines but provide the ability to collect detailed data from an individual press and share with the wider enterprise.”

Matt Bennett says, “Digital packaging, especially in flexible packaging, is still in its infancy, however is forecasted for robust growth. This creates a huge market opportunity for label converters looking to move into high-growth areas like flexible packaging. I’m happy to share my outlook and business potential on how a label converter can leverage this opportunity.”

Ventimiglia adds, “Places are limited for all conference and master class sessions, so attendees are strongly encouraged to book as soon as possible.”

Label Congress 2021 takes place from 29 September to 1 October at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Illinois.

For the full program and booking details for either the conference or master class, visit: www.labelexpo.com/congress/conference-program or www.labelexpo.com/congress/self-adhesive-label-materials-master-class

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.

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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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