With less than a month to go, Chris Ellison, FINAT Board member and Managing Director of OPM Labels & Packaging Group, is urging label converters to attend its rebranded European Label Forum 2015.FINAT says over 200 leaders from the label and narrow web industry have already confirmed attendance – a record for an event not co-hosted with a national label association.

Taking place in Amsterdam between June 11-13th, FINAT hopes the new format and content of its Label Forum will persuade those who have stayed away from past congresses to attend, particularly converters from countries like the UK, where overall industry profitability is among the lowest in Europe.

‘In the label world, there are a lot of fast and dramatic changes taking place in decorating technologies, packaging types, branding strategies and markets,’says FINAT managing director Jules Lejeune, ‘As such, we need to pursue a wider vision.The small and mid-sized companies that traditionally made up our industry base when self-adhesive labeling took off in the mid-1970s are now part of a much broader supplier segment challenged to meet the needs of demanding international brands, multiple retailers, and high-tech product manufacturers.We need to change our profile to meet those needs in the 21st century — to be at the leading-edge of product decoration, and at the same time to run successful and profitable businesses.’

EU past-president Herman van Rompuydelivers the keynote speech looking at the changing European landscape for doing business, while Ramses Dingenouts of global beer brand Heineken and UK procurement expert Gordon Crichton set the expectations of buyers and brand owners. Bestselling Danish author and entrepreneur RasmusAnkersenprovides a personal perspective on achieving business and personal success. Jules Lejeune will present the results of FINAT’s RADAR industry survey, which provides critical data for assessing a converter’s forward strategy.

Attendees can choose from three streams – sales and marketing, manufacturing and technology, and management and corporate affairs – which focus on the specific concerns of labels and packaging converters and their supply chain.Topics addressed will include the future of retailing;label design as a sales tool;decoration technologies that compete with traditional labels;3D printing (more accurately additive manufacturing);succession planning in family companies;and how to sell your business.There will also be a lean manufacturing workshop.

A series of blogs from each of the speakers at the European Label Forum is available on the website www.europeanlabelforum.com.

Suppliers will be available to discuss these issues at a tabletopexhibition taking place at the same time and there will be extensive opportunities for networking over the two-day event.On the evening of the first day, delegates can enjoy socializing during a cocktail cruise on the Amsterdam canals, followed by dinner at the Maritime Museum.

FINAT incoming vice president Chris Ellison, managing director of leading UK converter OPM Group, urged converters to attend the event, ‘The European Label Forum represents the ideal platform to unite and inspire, creating an atmosphere conducive to both networking and the sharing of knowledge to the benefit of our industry as a whole. Inspiring speakers and practical workshops will combine to leave the delegate confident and enthused about the opportunities that still exist in a difficult European market.

‘I urge everyone to take advantage of this new and exciting format, joining together as we enter a new dimension to shape the future of FINAT. For most it’s only a short trip to Amsterdam anyway, so hope to see you there.’

Andy Thomas, group managing of editor Labels & Labeling, endorsed Ellison’s position: ‘Too many label converters are production-focused and need to take a step back to look at the broader picture: What markets are they in? Are they profitable? What trends will impact their business – legislation, new materials, competitive decoration technologies? And what investments in technology or training will they need to undertake to survive and prosper? The real benefit of events like FINAT’s European Label Forum is to allow you time to think – away from the pressures of the production floor – and to talk with others facing the same dilemmas or to discuss new business directions. That is why L&L is a firm supporter of the event and our team, along with our Labelexpo colleagues, will be there in strength.’

Supporters of the FINAT European Label Forum 2015 include Avery Dennison, Bostik,Dow Corning, Drewsen, ETI Converting, Evonik, Gallus, Herma, Hewlett-Packard, HueckFolien, ICAP-SIRA, Innovia Films, Intercoat, Kanzan, Kocher+Beck, Labelexpo Global Series/Labels &Labeling, Lintec Corporation, Mark Andy, MPS, Nilpeter, NuovaGidue, Omet,OrganikKimya,  PPG Industries, Prati, Rotometrics, Sun Chemical, UPM Raflatac and Xeikon International.

Further details about the programme, registration and practical details are available on this website.