25th Edition of Labelexpo Americas Breaks Attendance Records

September 18, 2014

The 25th edition of Tarsus Group’s Labelexpo Americas, held Sept. 9-11 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., was the busiest one yet, with 16,029 attendees flocking to the showfloor to see the latest innovations in the labels and labeling industry.

This year’s attendance figure broke records and was up 12 percent, compared with the 2012 edition of the biennial event.

The showfloor also saw an increase of 10,000 net square feet this year to 195,000, and the number of exhibitors also increased to from 413 in 2012 to 441 at this year’s event.

On the second day of the busy show, Tasha Ventimiglia, Labelexpo Americas event director, said that the opening day “was a good day. A lot was sold on the showfloor.”

Attendees also packed the conference sessions, with more than 950 passes sold this year, compared with 720 in 2012.

In all, the conference program attracted almost 1,100 delegates (its highest ever number) and consisted of 16 different sessions and 64 individual moderators, panelists and speakers.

Highlights from the conference program included the CEO and converter panel discussions, as well as the ‘Internet of things’ and inkjet technologies presentations.

“The printing industry is going through a good run,” she added. “More than ever in the last two years it’s not just focused on labels, but also package printing.”

As a result, the show itself has grown to fit that need, as well as expanded into other markets, such as Latin America, which also has reflected with more international attendees from that region on the showfloor.

For Avery Dennison, one of the largest companies in the label space, Labelexpo Americas is a key platform to launch all of their new products, according to Judy Abelman, vice president of corporate communications for the company’s Materials Group.

“It’s a huge investment for us,” she added. This year, Avery Dennison launched a Labelexpo Americas virtual show that allowed people to go online and see everything that was in the booth, as well as ask questions in a live chatroom and request more information on anything they might be interested in.

“Our virtual tradeshow will open the door to converters around the world who are unable to attend the show,” Abelman said.

She added, “This tool will enable them to experience the innovations we will debut and gain access to the information and tools featured in our booth. It’s also a great way for converters at the show to share what they’ve seen with team members who weren’t able to come to Chicago.”

Attendee Ryan Lucia, production manager at Winooski, Vt.-based Creative Labels of Vermont, said it was his fifth time attending the show.

“It’s always a really excellent time,” he said. “I always leave here really inspired to change things in my own business. Everyone has a lot to offer … too much information is never a bad thing!”

Also featured at this year’s show was the “Smart Mart”, where smart technologies were shown off.

At the SML booth there was a handheld scanning device that with one quick swipe could read specially imbedded RFID tags, making inventory much faster to accomplish.

In another booth, attendees could don a pair of glasses that would track what types of labels and packaging their eyes were drawn to in a supermarket aisle.

Over at the Hewlett Packard booth they were showing off the company’s recent partnership with Coca-Cola in which they made 2 million unique labels for bottles that were distributed in Israel. Each bottle had a special code that also allowed someone to have a one-of-a-kind t-short made that matched the design on the bottle.

Mark Andy, another leading company in the label industry, also had a significant presence on the showfloor, with a booth that spanned 6,750 sq. ft. and at least 80 logistics and sales personnel working on and in the booth, according to Mark Sullivan, director of global marketing.

 “This is our flagship event. We time most of our product launches at the show,” he added, pointing out the company was unveiling its digital hybrid technology at this year’s event.  

New at this year’s event on the last day of the show was a Craft Beverage Workshop in which craft beer and wineries were invited to take part in a Labels 101 Session for their industries, as well as a lunch and Q&A with label beverage experts.

“The feedback has been excellent,” Ventimiglia said, adding that they hope to expand the program even more in 2016.

Even though the next show is two years away, Labelexpo Americas 2016 already is off to a good start with 83 percent of the showfloor booked onsite at this year’s event.

“The show’s success underlines just how much confidence has returned to the American label and package printing industry,” Ventimiglia said.

She added, “People were there to do serious business and from the feedback we’ve had, we know many exhibitors have enjoyed healthy sales as well as generating a high volume of good quality sales leads.”

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Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? 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Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.