The organisers are confident that the design centre concept will effectively demonstrate the importance of innovative packaging design to the overall success of a product, and industry experts have already expressed their interest in the event. "A strong brand is unique. It is different from its competitors and stands out from the crowd," said British Brands Group director John Noble.
"It is this ability to differentiate that makes the brand such a powerful mechanism for consumer choice and competition, which is why we are delighted to support the role packaging design plays in this process through the Packaging Innovation Show."
The show will include futuristic displays, an interactive CADCAM master class with Delcam, a full seminar programme and the opportunity to talk to a range of experts from sponsoring companies.
The Total Innovation Centre of Excellence has been formulated to reflect the growing influence of design and innovation on the marketing of new products. As a result, the centre is planning to run the 2020 Vision Design Challenge, an event targeted at the packaging industry and all involved in the supply chain. The concept will allow design groups to showcase what could be on the market in 2020.
"The successful development of new consumer products relies on the close collaboration of brand owners, designers and suppliers in the innovation cycle," said Nick Bird, Rexam group marketing director. "All too often, once the project hits the shelf, everybody moves on. This initiative will help to weld together the relevant parties and enable them to stand back and take a look at the future of consumer packaged products."
The centre will not only provide a showcase for structural and graphic design, it will also provide an area in which all parts of the packaging supply chain can call on a range of experts for authoritative advice on technical problems and design challenges. In addition a visitor trail service is planned to direct visitors to relevant companies and associations.
The Total Processing & Packaging event itself promises to cover a whole range of topics. For example, there will be an interactive debate on the controversial issue of child resistant packaging within the Total Pharma Centre of Excellence Seminar Theatre.
A great deal of debate surrounds the inherent child resistance of blister packaging, which is soon to be covered by a new European Protocol similar to that governing child resistant containers. Considered by some to be a rebuff to the blister pack, the interactive debate will be led by M.Y Healthcare and the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association. Each will provide an alternative solution to the question "which packaging concept is best?" before the debate is thrown open to the audience.
Among the other seminar highlights, which will examine the synergies between food and pharmaceutical manufacture, are the escalating problems of counterfeit goods and the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association's Safety Passport Scheme for visiting engineers.
Total Processing and Packaging 2004 will be one of Europe's largest packaging industry events. The show claims to combine the traditional strengths of the leading UK exhibitions - Pakex, the PPMA Machinery Only show and Reed Exhibitions processing shows Eurochem and Interphex - while placing an increasing emphasis on all elements of the packaging and processing value chain. The event, which will take place from 29 March to 1 April 2004 at the Birmingham NEC, will cover 50,000 square metres.