25th Edition of Labelexpo Americas Breaks Attendance Records
The 25th edition of Tarsus Group’s Labelexpo Americas, held Sept. 9-11 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., was the busiest one yet, with 16,029 attendees flocking to the showfloor to see the latest innovations in the labels and labeling industry.
This year’s attendance figure broke records and was up 12 percent, compared with the 2012 edition of the biennial event.
The showfloor also saw an increase of 10,000 net square feet this year to 195,000, and the number of exhibitors also increased to from 413 in 2012 to 441 at this year’s event.
On the second day of the busy show, Tasha Ventimiglia, Labelexpo Americas event director, said that the opening day “was a good day. A lot was sold on the showfloor.”
Attendees also packed the conference sessions, with more than 950 passes sold this year, compared with 720 in 2012.
In all, the conference program attracted almost 1,100 delegates (its highest ever number) and consisted of 16 different sessions and 64 individual moderators, panelists and speakers.
Highlights from the conference program included the CEO and converter panel discussions, as well as the ‘Internet of things’ and inkjet technologies presentations.
“The printing industry is going through a good run,” she added. “More than ever in the last two years it’s not just focused on labels, but also package printing.”
As a result, the show itself has grown to fit that need, as well as expanded into other markets, such as Latin America, which also has reflected with more international attendees from that region on the showfloor.
For Avery Dennison, one of the largest companies in the label space, Labelexpo Americas is a key platform to launch all of their new products, according to Judy Abelman, vice president of corporate communications for the company’s Materials Group.
“It’s a huge investment for us,” she added. This year, Avery Dennison launched a Labelexpo Americas virtual show that allowed people to go online and see everything that was in the booth, as well as ask questions in a live chatroom and request more information on anything they might be interested in.
“Our virtual tradeshow will open the door to converters around the world who are unable to attend the show,” Abelman said.
She added, “This tool will enable them to experience the innovations we will debut and gain access to the information and tools featured in our booth. It’s also a great way for converters at the show to share what they’ve seen with team members who weren’t able to come to Chicago.”
Attendee Ryan Lucia, production manager at Winooski, Vt.-based Creative Labels of Vermont, said it was his fifth time attending the show.
“It’s always a really excellent time,” he said. “I always leave here really inspired to change things in my own business. Everyone has a lot to offer … too much information is never a bad thing!”
Also featured at this year’s show was the “Smart Mart”, where smart technologies were shown off.
At the SML booth there was a handheld scanning device that with one quick swipe could read specially imbedded RFID tags, making inventory much faster to accomplish.
In another booth, attendees could don a pair of glasses that would track what types of labels and packaging their eyes were drawn to in a supermarket aisle.
Over at the Hewlett Packard booth they were showing off the company’s recent partnership with Coca-Cola in which they made 2 million unique labels for bottles that were distributed in Israel. Each bottle had a special code that also allowed someone to have a one-of-a-kind t-short made that matched the design on the bottle.
Mark Andy, another leading company in the label industry, also had a significant presence on the showfloor, with a booth that spanned 6,750 sq. ft. and at least 80 logistics and sales personnel working on and in the booth, according to Mark Sullivan, director of global marketing.
“This is our flagship event. We time most of our product launches at the show,” he added, pointing out the company was unveiling its digital hybrid technology at this year’s event.
New at this year’s event on the last day of the show was a Craft Beverage Workshop in which craft beer and wineries were invited to take part in a Labels 101 Session for their industries, as well as a lunch and Q&A with label beverage experts.
“The feedback has been excellent,” Ventimiglia said, adding that they hope to expand the program even more in 2016.
Even though the next show is two years away, Labelexpo Americas 2016 already is off to a good start with 83 percent of the showfloor booked onsite at this year’s event.
“The show’s success underlines just how much confidence has returned to the American label and package printing industry,” Ventimiglia said.
She added, “People were there to do serious business and from the feedback we’ve had, we know many exhibitors have enjoyed healthy sales as well as generating a high volume of good quality sales leads.”