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PPMA – The Return of the Show
It’s been a long time coming but shows are back at least for the foreseeable future. For us the PPMA – marked the return of the show. Let us hang onto this new beginning and hope it can last. As many times as I have been to the NEC this felt like a new beginning, a reset even a restart to business. Oh joy!
As much as the space is still a little charmless the people involved filled the void. They took the time. They made the effort and seemed to enjoy the chance to meet face to face. Masks were definitely in the minority. Exhibitors were pleased to explain the latest technology; to show how the industry has moved on. Recycled packaging was being positively embraced. Sealed air is the new substitute for polystyrene and there was the advent of backing-free labelling.
PPMA – The Return – Who was there?
I am indebted to The Herma Group for taking the time to explain the concept and the practical advantages of backing-free labelling as well as many others. The feedback on the show was strong with those attending representing real interest as opposed to the higher numbers but lower interest seen in previous years.
So, there was good news. The coffee was good. There was space in the aisles and the train network behaved impeccably. With the right suite of apps, it might actually be possible to travel simply and relatively cheaply. Tickets in electronic wallets along with an updated Covid status – the NHS app works too – meant taking the car was never an option.
PPMA – The Return, ALS
Advanced Labelling Systems (ALS) also took the time to give some feedback on the show as well as to give a novice in the packaging space a quick briefing on how things work. ALS were showcasing the ALS 600 series, the XLS 200 and the XPA 934 labelling applicators. Truth to say whether it be under, over; front, back or wrap-around labelling it would seem ALS has it covered. One only has to be an Amazon customer to see how far the packaging world has come. There appears to be a thirst to keep pushing what can be achieved, in less time, with less waste and lower costs.
PPMA – The Return, The Marketing Opportunity
Even though there was evidence all round of the technology in place to support better and faster packaging the actual systems to support CRM and the like still seemed to be decidedly old-school. There have been leaps in technology particularly around Near Field Communication, yet business cards and brochures were still the order of the day. Much has been talked about in terms of direct data capture, but it seems tried and trusted still trumps new and shiny.
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