Labelexpo Europe 2013 to be bigger, better, busier

An exclusive preview of the show which will be held at Brussels Expo, Brussels, Belgium from 24-27 September 2013. Spread across seven halls, there is an expected footfall of over 30,000 according to Lisa Milburn, managing director, Labelexpo Europe in conversation with Sachin Shardul.

03 Aug 2013 | By PrintWeek India

PrintWeek India (PWI): Tarsus claims Labelexpo Europe 2013 (LEX) to be the biggest ever? Please elaborate.
Lisa Milburn (LM): Labelexpo Europe 2013 will be the largest ever edition in its 33-year history. This year we have grown to cover seven exhibition halls, up from six in 2011 and will have a show-floor size of 31,000sqm. With over 550 exhibitors, including 90 first time participants, the increase can be attributed to many of our exhibitors taking larger stands following the success they enjoyed in 2011.

PWI: Apart for the display of machinery and demos what else will LEX Europe offer?
LM: In addition to the live working machinery, there will be several educational feature areas and workshops with its focus on inkjet printing, digital printing and package printing. Most importantly, Labelexpo Europe provides the perfect and best opportunity for printers and converters to compare and contrast technologies and results from all the key industry suppliers. It is also the ideal place to network with industry experts and gain invaluable business advice on how to improve efficiency, profit and loss margins and sustainability.

PWI: How much of print business will or can LEX Europe generate for Indian printers?
LM: I think Labelexpo Europe can generate a lot of business for printers but it won’t be overnight. For those who visit the exhibition and take advantage of the demonstrations and adopt some of the new techniques, technologies, products or processes, they will reap the immediate and long-term benefits by being able to offer their customer, for instance, added value with better quality finishes. They will also be able to look at their businesses and see where they can make savings through improved business efficiency or by implementing greener processes.

PWI: How have you made it easy for an Indian visitor to visit LEX 2013?
LM: As with previous years, we offer help wherever we can to make sure our visitors have the best possible experience while they are at the show. We offer all assistance we can – from helping with visas to discounted hotel accommodation and flights, to free airport shuttle transfers and metro use during the show.

PWI: According to you, what are the Indian label converters aiming to achieve in 2013?
LM: I think Indian label printers will be looking to further improve their businesses in efficiency, quality and costs. We know that the Indian label industry enjoys a healthy growth level of 8-9% with some predictions of up to 20% in the next five years. Following on from Labelexpo India 2012, we’re seeing converters invest more into their capital equipment as they look to beat the competition by adopting newer, more efficient technologies and implementing more effective workflow solutions.

PWI: Which technologies should the Indian label converters look to invest in?
LM: I think it really depends on what kind of printing jobs the converter is doing more frequently. There is no one-fits-all solution. Whether it is flexo or digital, both technologies offer fantastic quality but it is all about how they are used in label production. Flexo is the best option for large volume print runs where there is no need for multiple variations, while digital is the most efficient solution for shorter run lengths which are dictated by the need or localisation and personalisation.

PWI: Is the revenue from trade shows increasing or decreasing?
LM: I think revenue has remained healthy with a slight increase on where we were a few years ago with the global recession. Confidence is returning in the market as we’ve seen over all our exhibitions particularly in the last two or three years. Individuals and companies are still spending but are being more prudent with their cash these days by looking for a provable and valuable return on investment before making a final purchasing decision.

PWI: Do you see the India print industry showing positive growth? How do you rate it in comparison to the world market?
LM: Absolutely. India is still one of the fastest and healthiest growing markets, second only to China, with an annual growth level of nearly 9%. All of the so called emerging markets like Asia and Latin America are continuing to do well too. Label and package printing is the only segment of the printing industry that is showing strong and sustainable growth across the globe. As commercial printing continues to decline, more converters are wisely moving into this area. Global brands are still getting exposure to new customers in emerging markets like India as these areas become more commercialised and are gradually opening up to foreign investment. This will continue to offer lucrative opportunities for label and package printers for many years to come as brand owners look to localise their brands in these previously untapped regions.

PWI: There is a lot of activity around the show... Like the inkjet trail and Mike Fairley's digital workshop. What is this about?
LM: It’s all about adding value for the show visitor and maximising their time at the show. While most of them will primarily be coming to buy new machinery or source new materials and suppliers, it is as much vital to share the industry best practice, insight and know-how as possible. By running our feature areas like the Inkjet Trail and Package Printing Workshop, we hope we can help our visitors strengthen their businesses in easy, quick ways without too much financial outlay or disruption.

PWI: In India and worldwide, there are so many trade shows. How do you make your trade show stand out and create value?
LM: I would disagree that we are competing with other events in India or worldwide. What started out as a genuine, specialist niche event for the label sector in 1980 has become one of the biggest brands in the exhibition world because it has remained true and in-tune with its audience. Labelexpo has and always will be entirely focused on the needs of label and package printers rather than the wider print industry. It is because of this, long standing close association and the recognition that we fully understand the market and in many ways actually help drive the shape and future of the market that, exhibitors and visitors continue to support us. There really is nowhere better to showcase, share or see the latest the industry has to offer.

PWI: So, you’re confident about the LEX brand? What according to you is the future of LEX in India? Are you bullish?
PWI: We’re definitely optimistic about the future of all our Labelexpo events. For India though, we had an immensely successful edition in 2012 with 8,049 show visitors – up some 33% in 2010 and over 200 exhibitors up from 150 in 2010. India is a key market for us and as the label industry begins to grow and mature, we anticipate the show will continue to develop in line with it too.

PWI: Number of pre-registered visitors from India in the past shows?
LM: We had 429 visitors from India to the 2011’s show – up from 338 in 2009.

PWI: Trade figures from LEX Europe 2011? What are your expectations from 2013?
LM: We had 550 exhibitors in 2011 and attracted a record footfall of 28,636 visitors. Our expectations are very high and we are looking forward to beat the last edition’s total with anticipated visitor numbers reaching 30,000.  As we’ve already said, the show itself is already the largest in its history. 


Fun at Labelexpo

Five restaurants

Vincents, Belga Queen, Atomium Restaurant, La Kasbah and Il Pasticcio

Five pubs

A La Mort Subite, Delirium, Poechenellekelder, Cirio and Roy d’Espange

Five spots to see

The Atomium, Autowold, the Grand Place, City Museum and Natural Sciences Museum

The buzz word at Brussels


Best mode of transport

The Metro

A clothing disaster would be 

High heels

The best coffee at the show …

Ashland coffee shop in Hall 12

An emergency number to memorise



India at Labelexpo

What makes the show exciting from an Indian point of view is, the presence of 15 Indian exhibitors. This includes: Convertech Equipment, Cosmo Films, Creed Engineers, Diehard Dies, Holostik India, Kevin Metpack, Kumar Labels, Mona Equipments, Monotech Systems, Multitec Aids, PBJ, Polyplex, Precise Graphic India, Sheetal Mercantile, SMI Coated Products and UV Graphic Technologies.

In addition, the Label Manufacturers Association of India (LMAI) has committed 65 members who will visit Labelexpo Europe 2013.

In addition, the key international manufacturers, along with leading ancillary and material suppliers, will be exhibiting. Headline names include Avery Dennison, Domino, Durst, EFI, Epson, Esko, Flint Group, Gallus, Mark Andy, MPS, Nilpeter, Omet, Stork Prints, Sun Chemical, UPM Raflatac and Xeikon. HP Indigo will be taking the entire Patio hall with its partner companies to highlight the capabilities of digital printing technology for label and package printing converters.


15 Indian exhibitors at Labelexpo in Brussels.. Click here to read more...