Trade shows, whether exhibiting or attending, demand the most comfortable pair of shoes in your closet, a full pocket of business cards, and a honed 30-second elevator pitch. The cab line at the Las Vegas airport during the week of the Consumer Electronics Show resembles the back-up at a Disney theme park ride. I have been standing in someone’s booth and been dripped on from the leaky roof of the Javits Center. Once taking a cab back to an August security show, I took a full shower in a suit and tie when we passed by kids who had taken the cover off their neighborhood fire hydrant. Yes, trade shows can be more than a little challenging.
Which is why I like to visit Luxe Pack every year when it comes to New York (or you could also choose Monaco or Shanghai). It is not your typical trade show by any stretch. It attracts exhibitors focusing on packaging and luxury goods for major global brands in beauty, wine and spirits, and fine food. It is held in the Metropolitan Pavilion and The Altman Building in Chelsea. It brings together less than 200 exhibitors with some really impressively artful samples. And show staff come around the aisles at the end of the day and serve champagne.
The hall is populated with many cosmetics and fragrance industry execs. Most of the conversations are in English but with a French accent. Everyone is overwhelmingly polite and gracious. This is how all business should be conducted.
Mostly, I go to Luxe Pack, however, to view and get inspired by some of the world’s most beautiful packaging, as well as the materials and components that go into these packages.
One of our clients, HLP Klearfold, was an exhibitor again this year. HLP Klearfold is the global leader in visual packaging (clear plastic folding cartons), part of the Hip Lik Group of Hong Kong, with world-class production facilities in Shenzhen, China. We have been assisting North America with branding, ads, web design, literature, exhibit graphics, sample packages, and PR. Their printing, special effects, and Soft Crease scoring capabilities are really impressive. The combination of clear packaging and imaginative structural and graphic designs result in some showcase opportunities that support top brands and premium positioning.
While at Luxe Pack, I had many interesting conversations with other exhibitors eager to talk about their high-end, one-of-a-kind packaging (etched glass, carved wood, metallic effects). Even as I was headed out to the street, I encountered one last exhibitor, Material Connexion, who is a consultancy to manufacturers and packagers looking for sustainable solutions. They maintain an incredible global database and a material sample library, a collection of which it featured at the show. This company’s services are a potential strategic fit for two of our clients, so it was a worthwhile trip to Luxe Pack just to learn of this resource. I highly recommend Luxe Pack to anyone with a luxury product to brand, package, and sell. And since you missed this one in New York, you can also plan a trip to Monaco in October.