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  • 02 Aug 2021

Label Congress 2021 unveils educational program

A line-up of high-profile 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

A line-up of high-profile 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 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 ten presentation and panel-led sessions taking place on September 29 and 30. A Label Academy-led technical master class will also take place on the third day of the show. 

Day one 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 highlights include Filip Weymans, VP 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. The first day will also include a panel discussion examining whether converters should diversify into flexible packaging, with panelists including Matt Bennett, global VP, packaging strategy, Fujifilm; and a further panel discussion looking at the benefits of hybrid printing. Avery Dennison will present how to get smarter with the Internet of Things. Participating converters include Mark Wegmann, owner of Wegmann Companies, AWT and Premier Markings. 

Day two is themed around future-proofing the business. Highlights include the opening session on data transparency, led by Federico D’Annunzio, founder of and winner of the 2020 Label Industry Global Award’s global achievement honor. Mike Rottenborn, CEO, 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, VP North America NW, Flint Group, Kevin Clunie, VP sales and marketing / CELAB VP, Mactac, and Abby Meyer, research engineer, Belmark. Other topics to be debated include creating a culture of continuous improvement and how to recruit and retain young talent.

Additionally, the in-depth master class hosted by the Label Academy on October 1, 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 CEO of Channeled Resources Group, who will provide an overview of release liner substrates (papers and films), and Melissa David, product line manager of packaging division at 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, commented: ‘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.’

Reardon, added: ‘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 I 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.’

‘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,’ said Rottenborn. ‘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.’

Bennett, commented: ‘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.’

‘Places are limited for all conference and master class sessions, so attendees are strongly encouraged to book as soon as possible,’ concluded Ventimiglia.

Label Congress 2021 takes place between September 29 and October 1, 2021 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Illinois. For the full program and booking details for either the conference or master class are available online


The Labels & Labeling global editorial team covers every corner of the world from Europe and the Americas, to India, Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia with all the latest news from the label and package printing market.

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