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Special Report: Packaging show preview

Easyfairs, organiser of Packaging Innovations, Empack and Label&Print, has announced new show features for 2016. The UK’s leading packaging and print show, which returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 24 - 25 February, will be offering more show content than ever before with a seminar lineup and over 350 exhibitors packed into halls 9 and 10. 

New to the show is The Innovation Showcase, highlighting the latest innovations in the industry. Over the last few months, exhibitors have been submitting their entries to Easyfairs, which have been whittled down to an exclusive group of winners, presented in the show guide.

The Retail Institute will chair the new interactive Great Innovation Debate, which will explore: ‘What is Innovation?’. The debate will take place in the Keynote Theatre at 15:30, on day one of the show. The panel includes David Rose from Britvic Soft Drinks; Alan Davies, global design manager at Essentra; Roger Wright from Marks & Spencer; and chairing the debate is The Retail Institute’s Stefan Casey.

Also new for 2016, is the Rising Star Scheme, designed with young brands in mind. It provides an opportunity for organisations still in their infancy to achieve their packaging goals, finding the right solutions for their company. The scheme ensures tthese start-ups find the appropriate suppliers and products, enhancing the brand and taking their packaging to the next level.

The Flexo Debate will debut on The Label&Print Theatre on day two of the show to discuss ‘the challenges faced in today’s market with demands for faster turnaround, increased print quality, less waste and colour management’.  There will also be a series of panel discussions happening live on the show floor, covering the critical industry questions, including ‘The role of print in a changing retail environment’; ‘How do we all tackle litter?’ and ‘Change the system, change the materials or change the expectation?’ 

The Drinks Symposium, organised by The Drinks Report and chaired by editor Felicity Murray, returns by popular demand, with expert speakers from Arkikie Highland Estate, Tomatin Distillery; Ballantine's at Pernod Ricard; PRC and Air Innovations Design Agency exploring the power of packaging. Each brand’s story will demonstrate how unique thinking and creative packaging design can build a clear and distinctive brand identity, when either bringing to market a new product, a brand re-design, or maintaining an established brand’s market position.

The BIG Print debate will see a panel of experts debate the topic: ‘Can analogue print survive in a digital world?’ The debate will take place in the Label&Print theatre at 11.30, on day one of the show.

Returning for its second year is The Retail Symposium, hosted by Paul Jenkins, MD at The PackHub. It will offer attendees, from right across the packaging spectrum, a unique programme of valuable and insightful retail focused content.

The show will feature content-rich Learnshops from major industry brands and leading international speakers, including Innocent Drinks, Kraft Heinz, Britvic, Taylors of Harrogate, John Lewis, Wilkos, JML Group, The Body Shop, SABMiller plc and Quorn Foods.

Finally there will be the drinks reception for all those visiting the show, held on day one of the show, providing an opportunity to network with colleagues, new contacts, and exhibitors.

For anyone interested in visiting, free registration can be found at, and or via the show team on +44 (0)20 8843 8800 or

14 February 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor