Breaking new ground, Packlabel attracted a largely favourable response among trade suppliers in Frankfurt.

Highly focused trade shows with specialised attractions have gained ground in recent years. In the labelling industry, the Labelexpo series of shows have earned widespread praise and support on three continents. Nevertheless, Labelex clearly had a more difficult task with Packlabel

Judging from many exhibitors’ comments, the three-day event –held at the Messe Frankfurt from 7-9 March – succeeded largely in fulfilling the organiser’s aim. That is, to provide a forum for label converters and trade suppliers to reach end-users and other market influencers. Most, if not all, exhibitors made useful sales contacts, while others found distributors.

While quality was obviously more important than volume, Packlabel attracted more people than expected. A total of 2,843 registered visitors attended the event. This figure excluded the 180 German delegates that attended a labelling seminar arranged by Verbrand Deutscher SK-Etiketten (VskE0. Also not counted were 680 people representing the 90-plus exhibitors, or the 30 trade press registrants.

The high level of presentation of exhibitors’ stands contributed to the professionalism of the event. Noticeable were Strålfors, Ko-Pack/Kobel and 3M Deutschland, individually promoting distinctive prime, security and industrial labelling systems. Among material suppliers, CyG, Intercoat, MACtac Europe, Jäckstadt, Panoval and Raflatac all had well-designed stands.

Several exhibitors used Packlabel to gain more presence in the tough German market. One of the largest and most enthusiastic was Avery Dennison. It attracted much interest for label application system and printers, including from Proctor & Gamble and Rank Xerox. ‘We want to book for the next show’, said Fr Müller. Gianmaria Dadea of FAD Fabriano said: ‘We were very pleased with the quality of visitors, including packaging buyers for our label papers. The show was a good way to begin building sales in Germany, particularly for our new products with watermarks and other security aids.’

Among the German label converters present, Kurt-Sebastian Wäsch-Etikett said: ‘We were very pleased with the outcome. As trade label suppliers we saw many interesting contacts (over 80), including end-users, brokers and even forms printers.’ Hr Eck of Schreiner Etiketten said his up to 50 per cent of visitors being important end-users.

Several firms showed desktop thermal and laser printers, including Sato Europe, Facit and Eltron International. Hr Kock of TEC Elektronik said: ‘We had good quality visitors, with more dealers on the seond day. More end-users on the third day.’ Adrian Segens of Chromos/Domino ink jet systems said: ‘Right place, right show, with good organisation. We met senior production buyers, which is what we wanted.’ Hr Esser of Delahaye & Esser said: ‘We were totally satisfied. We met the right people on our stand.

Some, like Pitney Bowes and Etimark, said a clash with CeBit (the Information Technology show held in Hannover) was unfortunate. For others there were too few end-users present and too many distributors. Arguably this reflected more the short-comings of individual firms to attract more end-users or show appropriate products on their stands.

Useful contacts
As the first show of its type, a certain amount of market testing was inevitable not all exhibitors could meet fully their expectations at such a highly focused event. Nevertheless, most exhibitors made useful ‘networking’ contacts. An example came from Dietmar Böttger of Alcan Deutschland: ‘We made many more good contacts with printers than end-users for both security and brand-protection products. This bears out notable growth in the security labelling market. We would certainly consider returning.’

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