From May 8 to 11, 2018, the Gran Via complex of the Fira de Barcelona will host Hispack 2018, featuring everything to do with packaging, processing and logistics. Of the 700 tradeshow exhibitors that will come together for this event, there will be approximately 50 businesses specialised in intralogistics, handling and storage. In addition, the fair will include specific activities for logistics professionals like conferences, round-table discussions, talks, etc. The director of Hispack, Xavier Pascual, has kindly taken time to speak with the editorial team at Mecalux to explain what is planned for the seventeenth edition of this benchmark event in the Iberian packaging market.
Interview with Xavier Pascual, Director of Hispack 2018
What will Hispack 2018 offer this year’s visitors?
The outlook is very good for the bustling packaging industry and the general economic upturn we are experiencing. With just six months to go, Hispack has already filled more exhibition space than was used in 2015.
It will cover 35,000 m2 of display space in three pavilions of the Gran Via complex and gather together 700 direct expositors, which entails a 12% increase in the area used and a 15% boost in the number of stands compared to three years ago. Hispack 2018 is also committed to leading the transformation of the industry, we want to show that packaging is a clear and decisive factor in the global business strategy of any company. It is not only about conveying a brand experience, but also comes down to determining essential manufacturing techniques and conserving products, the supply chain and points-of-sale.
What will we see in logistics this year?
This year, we are stepping things up again, with more relevant business stands and activities related to packaging within supply chain management, as packing and packaging are such crucial elements in the distribution and sale of products.
We have made logistics one of the four industry challenges of this year along with digitalisation and automation, sustainability and the user experience. With solutions from fifty or more companies in the logistics business, as well as event content customised to each participant, our event should appeal to directors and managers in logistics, production, handling, automation, operations, supply chain and purchasing of the foremost companies in the industrial, consumer products and large-scale distribution sectors.
How are logistics and packing related?
As I mentioned before, packing and packaging are of the utmost importance in logistics processes, since tangible goods need packing or boxing to be transported from the moment they leave the production centre to when they are finally consumed somewhere along the supply chain. On this point, Hispack wants to delve into three key layers and show the link between packaging and logistics, namely: intralogistics branding processes, optimisation of logistics processes in the packing industry itself and, last but not least, improvement of supply chain operations in various industrial sectors that interact with packing and packaging commodities. To this effect, packaging also contributes to the digitalisation and automation of logistics, ensuring product tracking and offering real-time information during the entire process.
Is Hispack known worldwide and, more specifically, in the logistics sector?
This year we hope to see growth internationally, since this means the Spanish packaging market is once again bringing in business from other countries. It looks like almost a third of Hispack’s direct presenters will be from overseas. After Spain, Italy is the country that gives us the most business, followed by Turkey, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and China.
We are also pleased to have international stands from the logistics sector.
What do business professionals look for when they attend Hispack?
Hispack attracts top professionals from different sectors such as food, drinks, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, perfumery or drugstore goods, capital goods, —among other industrial sectors and from consumer goods—, as well as representatives from large-scale distribution operations.
These people all have something in common: they are looking for new solutions in machinery, technology, processes, new materials and packaging that are a good fit.
What is the added value of Hispack compared to other fairs in this sector?
Hispack is a large-scale packing and packaging industrial fair featuring the Iberian market and appeals to the packaging ecosystem as a whole with the best supply and demand. We are the facilitators, bringing together a business synergy in one space that will directly benefit visitors and those here to display. And also, since we know how to create knowledge and networking spaces related to packaging, this is definitely useful for professionals from different sectors.
What is more, we have a hand in promoting the internationalisation of the sector, since many SMEs end up exporting to countries they would never otherwise plan on doing business in, thanks to contacts made during the fair or from participating in the business meetings.
This is the fifth occasion Xavier Pascual has headed up the Hispack event. This 55-year old Barcelona native has enjoyed a long and prosperous time working at Fira de Barcelona, where he started out in 1989 and in which he has directed more than a dozen exhibitions hosting different sectors. A seasoned fair administrator with training in corporate business and marketing, Pascual has also run the Packaging, Printing & Retail business unit at Fira de Barcelona since 2014 where he oversees, among other things, the synergetic Hispack and Graphispag exhibitions. Pascual is an associate professor of marketing and business events in various master’s degree programs at the Universitat Abat Oliba - CEU and the School of Tourism, Hospitality & Gastronomy CETT.