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  • 19 May 2015

FINAT calls on industry to attend inaugural European Label Forum

FINAT hopes the new format and content of the European Label Forum will persuade those who have stayed away from past congresses to attendFINAT managing director Jules Lejeune

FINAT, the international association for the self-adhesive label industry, is urging label converters to attend its inaugural European Label Forum 2015, taking place in Amsterdam across June 11-13.

European Label Forum is the new name for the association’s annual congress, and FINAT said over 200 leaders from the label and narrow web industry have already confirmed their attendance – a record for an event not co-hosted with a national label association.

FINAT hopes the new format and content of the European Label Forum will persuade those who have stayed away from past congresses to attend, particularly converters from countries like the UK, where overall industry profitability is among the lowest in Europe.

‘In the label world, there are a lot of fast and dramatic changes taking place in decorating technologies, packaging types, branding strategies and markets,’ said FINAT managing director Jules Lejeune. 'As such, we need to pursue a wider vision.

‘The small and mid-sized companies that traditionally made up our industry base when self-adhesive labeling took off in the mid-1970s are now part of a much broader supplier segment challenged to meet the needs of demanding international brands, multiple retailers and high-tech product manufacturers.

‘We need to change our profile to meet those needs in the 21st century, to be at the leading-edge of product decoration and, at the same time, to run successful and profitable businesses.’

EU past-president Herman van Rompuy is to deliver the keynote speech looking at the changing European landscape for doing business, while Ramses Dingenouts of global beer brand Heineken and UK procurement expert Gordon Crichton are to outline the expectations of buyers and brand owners.

Bestselling Danish author and entrepreneur Rasmus Ankersen will provide a personal perspective on achieving business and personal success and Lejeune himself will present the results of FINAT’s latest Radar industry survey, which provides critical data for assessing a converter’s forward strategy.

Attendees can choose from three streams – sales and marketing, manufacturing and technology, and management and corporate affairs – which focus on the specific concerns of labels and packaging converters and their supply chains. Topics addressed will include the future of retailing, label design as a sales tool, decoration technologies that compete with traditional labels, 3D printing, succession planning in family companies and how to sell your business.  There will also be a lean manufacturing workshop.

A series of blogs from each of the speakers at the European Label Forum is available on the event website.

Supporters of the FINAT European Label Forum 2015 include Avery Dennison, Bostik, Dow Corning, Drewsen, ETI Converting, Evonik, Gallus, Herma, Hewlett-Packard, Hueck Folien, ICAP-SIRA, Innovia Films, Intercoat, Kanzan, Kocher+Beck, Labelexpo Global Series, Labels & Labeling, Lintec Corporation, Mark Andy, MPS, Nilpeter, Nuova Gidue, Omet, Organik Kimya,  PPG Industries, Prati, RotoMetrics, Sun Chemical, UPM Raflatac and Xeikon.

A table-top exhibition will connect attendees and suppliers, with extensive networking opportunities across the event. On the evening of the first day, delegates can enjoy socializing during a cocktail cruise on the Amsterdam canals, followed by dinner at the Maritime Museum.

FINAT incoming vice president Chris Ellison, managing director of leading UK converter OPM Group, urged converters to attend the event, and said: ‘The European Label Forum represents the ideal platform to unite and inspire, creating an atmosphere conducive to both networking and the sharing of knowledge to the benefit of our industry as a whole. Inspiring speakers and practical workshops will combine to leave the delegate confident and enthused about the opportunities that still exist in a difficult European market.

‘I urge everyone to take advantage of this new and exciting format, joining together as we enter a new dimension to shape the future of FINAT. For most it’s only a short trip to Amsterdam anyway, so hope to see you there.’

Andy Thomas, group managing of editor Labels & Labeling, endorsed Ellison’s position: ‘Too many label converters are production-focused and need to take a step back to look at the broader picture: Which markets are they in? Are they profitable? What trends will impact their business – legislation, new materials, competitive decoration technologies? And what investments in technology or training will they need to undertake to survive and prosper?

‘The real benefit of events like FINAT’s European Label Forum is to allow you time to think - away from the pressures of the production floor, and to talk with others facing the same dilemmas or to discuss new business directions. That is why Labels & Labeling is a firm supporter of the event and our team, along with our Labelexpo colleagues, will be there in strength.’

Further details about the program, registration and practical details are available at


Andy Thomas is strategic director of Labels & Labeling.

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