Label Congress 2021, organized by Labelexpo Global Series, has attracted 743 visitors to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, for the industry’s first in-person conference and exhibition event since the start of the global pandemic.
‘The response from visitors and exhibitors was overwhelmingly positive – in many cases this was the first time they had seen industry friends and colleagues for almost two years,’ said Tasha Ventimiglia, event director at Labelexpo Americas.
TLMI president Linnea Keen, added: ‘Label Congress was a fantastic event! Everyone who attended was highly engaged and actively participated. Tarsus put on an outstanding event for the label industry and the two-day conference sessions were well attended. Our fellow exhibitors and TLMI members that we spoke to commented on the high quality of the conversations with attendees. Thankyou Tarsus for bringing the industry back together - well done.’
Label Congress 2021 featured a high-level two-day conference program. The first day started with an overview of global and US label market trends, followed by an in-depth look at the hot topic of the day, digital embellishment.
Two panel sessions followed on hybrid printing and whether label converters should move into flexible packaging, concluding with a presentation on IoT-driven connectivity for consumer products by Avery Dennison.
Day two’s keynote saw Label Industry Global Awards Global Lifetime Achievement winner Federico d’Annunzio explain how data transparency will transform the label industry, and this was followed by a panel discussion on sustainability. L&L’s columnist Paul Brauss then looked at how to create a culture of continuous improvement and the conference concluded with a panel on recruiting and retaining young talent.
Sustainability session panelist Kevin Clunie, representing the CELAB global liner recycling consortium, commented: ‘The balance of vendors and label converters on the panel really seemed to drive conversation and allow us to build on each other’s thoughts. I learned a lot from the other panelist’s experience and enjoyed hearing where they are on their sustainability journeys; based upon the number and nature of questions, the audience did too.’
Steve Metcalf of Baldwin Technology, moderator on the automation panel, said: ‘The Industry 4.0 topic is central to our future, and we are very thankful that the team at Tarsus and Labels & Labeling recognizes this and is leading the discussion. Data-connected technologies will be a key step forward for label-making, and we were excited for the opportunity to moderate our industry’s first in-person panel on this subject at Label Congress 2021, which will garner a lot more attention in the months ahead.’
The exhibition which ran alongside the Label Congress conference attracted 57 exhibitors.
‘This show has been fantastic. We’ve met friends we’ve not seen for two years,’ said Michael DeBard, president of DGM which represents Cartes in the US market.
Mark Turk, CEO of International Label & Printing and a panelist in the hybrid printing session, added: ‘I thought the conference was great. I was not expecting such a large turnout and was pleasantly surprised. All the vendors I spoke with told me the event was productive for them and were happy to have exhibited.’
‘We were thrilled with the high quality of attendees from throughout the entire US and Latin America, and certainly all the feedback we heard was that decision makers were walking the floor,’ commented Ventimiglia. ‘Our #labelreunion networking party on the first night was a great success, allowing all attendees to finally reconnect after three years. As a gold sponsor of the event, Xeikon was able to take attendees to their innovation center just 15 minutes away. They had four showings and each one was completely full.’
‘We knew there was a terrific desire for the label industry to reconnect in person and Label Congress 2021 proved that to be the case, despite the continued restrictions on travel. This gives us great confidence as we look forward to our first full Labelexpo events next year in Europe in April and back here at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in September 2022,’ concluded Lisa Milburn, managing director of the Tarsus Labels & Packaging Group.