FINAT – ELF 2017 confronts the challenges of change
THE NETHERLANDS • FINAT’s prime annual event, the European Label Forum (ELF), moves this year to Berlin, 7-9 June. It brings together a broad spectrum of industry leaders across the value chain, from raw material suppliers to end users, to debate major strategic business topics and gain in-depth market knowledge from top international speakers.
One key element of change for the coming years is certainly the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or “Industry 4.0” as it is often referred to, which encompasses all technologies that connect, exchange data and co-operate with each other, via the “Internet of Things”’, to automate and optimise manufacturing and create smart products that connect with the consumer. The ELF programme will highlight the manufacturing, product experience and people side of this disruptive evolution. This agenda also takes event participants on a journey specifically into the label industry’s future, featuring possible scenarios for its business environment in 2020-2025, and providing a practical context as background information for strategic decision making. For this purpose, FINAT has commissioned scenario-planning expert Paul de Ruijter, De Ruijter Strategy (NL) to conduct a project over the coming months that will culminate in two parallel interactive workshops during ELF.
FINAT President Thomas Hagmaier adds another option highlighted by the latest FINAT RADAR: “The tremendous leaps that have been made in the digital printing arena are, of course, bringing flexibility for high-quality short-run print to the label industry too, and brand owners indicated they expect to procure 5% more digital print solutions in the coming year. This is a reflection of the trend we are seeing to reducing the size of label print runs for just-in-time delivery, increased multi-versioning, and, of course the current fashion for personalisation.”
Market trends and developments
The second day of the conference opens with an update on the latest market trends and developments. A review of the market for direct digital print to containers by AWA will be followed by the annual summary of FINAT’s authoritative labelstock statistics and half-yearly market review, the FINAT RADAR. ELF participants will additionally benefit from a special report on a FINAT-commissioned study into the present and future status of digital label printing in Europe from the brand owners’, packaging buyers’, and label converters’ viewpoints, prepared by US-based market research agency LPC, who also conducted a parallel study in North America. One of the highlights of the second day will be a high-level discussion panel in which leaders of three of the world’s largest label companies will reflect on the future of the label industry.
The future of Europe in a divided western world
The direction of the tide in European integration has changed greatly in the last few years, and it is with great pride that FINAT will welcome as its closing keynote speaker Joschka Fischer, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany. He will present his insider view of the present and future landscape of European societies, connecting history, the present, and the future.
Further information and details of how to register are available via the FINAT website here.