In a bid to give brands and suppliers additional time to recover from the health crisis, the annual luxury packaging exhibition is swapping its traditional September dates to November 30-December 2. Infopro Digital Deputy Managing Director Nathalie Curvat and LUXE PACK Show Director Fabienne Germond share the reasons behind the decision and unveil their initiatives to support the luxury packaging community in this unique post-covid context.
Why postpone the Monaco show?
NC: The health crisis has caused both brands and suppliers to slow down their launch schedule. It was important for us to take into account the inertia engendered by the crisis and to give our exhibitors and our visitors more leeway to prepare for the show and the visibility it provides.
FG: September was simply too soon this year for most companies in our industry, whereas November gives them ample time both to recoup from the confinement period, but also and perhaps more importantly, to reset the rhythm of launches.
As trade-show organizers, our role is to support the industry. And this year, perhaps more than ever before, it’s essential to support the different stakeholders as the business takes off again.
The luxury industry is still reeling from the health crisis. Will the 2020 edition be a showcase for innovation as is usually the case in Monaco?
NC: In our discussions with the community, we’re seeing signs that the crisis has in some cases been a driver for innovation. Certain companies are approaching the crisis as an opportunity by reexamining their offer to launch new products or solutions that are adapted to the post-crisis period. Monaco will be a chance for them to highlight these novelties.
FG: There are innovations for which the launch was halted due to the period of confinement that will take advantage of LUXE PACK Monaco as a platform, but also projects that were in the pipeline and for which a September show would have been too soon. Late November, however, is the perfect timing.
How will you support exhibitors and visitors coming out of the crisis?
NC: Let’s be clear: this year’s show in Monaco won’t be all about glitter and glamour, but more about sobriety and efficacy. There are several measures: first, for those exhibitors who want to reduce costs, we’re offering booths that are a bit more minimalist (but still elegant!). Secondly, we’ve exceptionally negotiated lower rates at local hotels for both visitors and exhibitors. Thirdly, on site at the Grimaldi Forum we’re opening up rooms (with capacities ranging from 8 to 15 people) for brands to hold work sessions with their suppliers and service providers in a confidential setting. It’s a great opportunity for them to gather all of the players for a given project around the table.
FG: We’re also giving exhibitors the opportunity to invite partners or start-ups to show alongside them at their booths in a bid to support smaller companies and give them visibility in what, for many, is a challenging period. With this in place, visitors will have access to a wider and more diversified palette of luxury packaging solutions. Normally this is a paid-for service, but this year there is no charge.
Will it be a full house in November or do you foresee cancellations?
FG: For the moment the show is full, and as always, we have a waiting list. Naturally, some suppliers are having a very tough time financially due to the crisis and won’t be able to make it this year, but this is a very small minority.
Will the covid crisis and the industry's recovery be a focus in the conference program?
FG: There aren’t going to be ‘covid-specific’ sessions, but the conferences will cover the enormous changes happening in the industry due to the crisis—in the area of consumption trends, supply chain, e-commerce and sustainable development to name just a few.
The new dates for the Monaco show coincide with those of Edition Spéciale by LUXE PACK in Paris. What does this mean for the second edition of the Paris show?
NC: Unfortunately, it means that the next edition of the Paris show will take place in June 2021. We were very much looking forward to the show after the success of the first edition, but a choice had to be made and we felt that for the community, the Monaco show would have more impact.
FG: Let’s not forget that LUXE PACK Monaco has always had a strong “green” component and we plan to reinforce the visibility of ecologically responsible packaging solutions and their suppliers even more this year.
With the rise of digital platforms due to the crisis, are you rethinking the traditional trade-show model?
FG: The confinement period showed us how very essential the digital aspect of the business truly is, but a virtual show cannot replace the physical exhibition; they need to exist and evolve alongside each other. We are currently developing a platform for the LUXE PACK Monaco community, but which won’t be devoted just to Monaco, it will federate all of our LUXE PACK communities around the world. Rather than replace the physical show, the digital platform will serve to expand the breadth of opportunities already on offer. We feel that nothing can replace the conviviality of a face-to-face meeting.
NC: Digital platforms for trade shows were already trending, but the crisis has accelerated the concept and made a more hybrid approach even more pertinent. The combination of traditional trade show and digital platform is set to create a new medium that is both powerful and productive.
What’s next for LUXE PACK?
NC: LUXE PACK Shanghai is opening on July 7th and we’re happy to report that it will be a full house with more than 200 selected exhibitors, of which one-third are new to the event. The Chinese market was of course impacted early on compared to other regions and business is starting back up there in a big way, so we’re forecasting an excellent show.
Editor's note: LUXE PACK and Luxe Packaging Insight are both part of Infopro Digital.