The 11th edition of Label Summit Latin America drew its highest ever number of attendees as it concluded in Medellin last week. 747 senior level delegates including label and package printers and brand owners joined together to analyze the application of best practices and new technologies to accelerate business opportunities and economic development across the Andean region.
Held in Colombia for the first time, the two-day event - which featured a packed conference program, table-top exhibition and networking function - is the largest gathering for the label and package printing industry in Latin America. Delegates came from right across the continent with attendees from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela. Over 50 leading industry suppliers exhibited with companies including Arclad, Avery Dennison, EFI, Flint Group, Mark Andy, MPS, Nilpeter, Omet, Prati, RotoMetrics, Sun Chemical, UPM Raflatac and Xeikon.
According to organizers, the event's mood was upbeat as delegates gave an enthusiastic response to the conference schedule's content. Highlights included the keynote presentation by Don Nolan, president, materials group, Avery Dennison as well as Maria Alexandra Gruesso Sanchez of ANDIGRAF, who provided an in-depth analysis of the Andean region's label industry and how printers can better harness partnership opportunities to easily benefit from serving foreign markets such as the US. She was followed by Aldo González of Acrus-CCL Label, who shared his personal experience and insight of how businesses can successfully grow and prosper through mergers and acquisitions.
Day one's Andean printer panel discussion was also well received with panelists including Fredy Alberto Gallón of Colombian-based Servibarras, Jaime Yoshiyama of Peru's Kuresa, ETIFLEXO's Kevin Blanco from Venezuela, Bolivian-based Juan Carlos Zamorano Somoza of Flexo Print and Francisco Arias of Ecuador's Sismode. As some of the top level printers in South America, they readily shared their knowledge with the audience as they covered topics such as regional variations and investing in and applying new technologies for future gain.
The second day's focus on brand development, product design and placement as well as new technologies was underscored with the same level of high interest. Tony Estrada of Constantia Spear kicked off proceedings with a practical and hands-on look at pressure sensitive label growth and trends in the beverage industry as he engaged the audience with real life examples. Powerful Yogurt's Sarah Goldthwait followed his lead with a comprehensive look at how to develop innovative product packaging to maximize brand enhancement right through from the initial design being laid out to the finished product being on the supermarket shelf.
Other standout sessions included Henry Castillo from NeuroMind who delved into the application of 'neuromarketing' on the design of labels and packaging. Castillo demonstrated the power of design on consumer decisions, how effective product design can influence perception of quality and how neuroscience can be the master key to entering the mind of the consumer. Sun Chemical's Alfonso Paredes also struck a chord with his overview of brand protection with a comprehensive examination of security inks and coatings and instant verification and authentication technologies using mobile technology.
Tasha Ventimiglia, event director for Label Summit Latin America, said: "This has been the biggest ever attendance a summit has experienced that Labelexpo has organized! We see in Colombia and Latin America as a whole, a promising future and clear business roadmap which offers extensive opportunities for future business growth and the forging of strong business relationships on a global scale. Label Summit Latin America 2014 has been a fantastic way to showcase to regional and international label industry professionals that Colombia, which is one of continent's fastest growing economies, offers vast commercial opportunities which cannot be ignored."