Bobst opened the doors of its headquarters near Lausanne, Switzerland last November to over 100 brand owners for its first Packaging Masterclass. The aim of the event was to present in one day, a high-level and non-commercial overview of the technologies available for packaging production and identify how brand owners can achieve today’s essential requirements of agility, differentiation and sustainability. The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive with many saying the event exceeded their expectations with the intense but valuable mix of theoretical and practical content. Based on this response, Bobst has decided to run the Masterclass again this year, on 28 October 2020.
“The role of packaging is changing faster than ever before, and the way brands design, pack and distribute products is constantly evolving,” said Paul Stoudmann, program director for the Masterclass at Bobst. “Bobst has been a pioneer in packaging innovation for decades and we pride ourselves in understanding the market and our customers’ challenges and needs, and finding solutions for these.”
“Bobst is the packaging industry reference and since it is able to offer the complete spectrum of packaging processes and technologies, we have the benefit of being neutral in this scenario – not pushing one technology over another perhaps superior one. And since we are neither supplier, customer or competitor to brand owners, our conversations tend to be open and constructive,” says Stoudmann. “That’s why we felt that brand owners could gain a lot from this type of event, understanding the technology so as to find the most appropriate solutions for their needs. Ultimately it is their names on the packaging, and so it is important that they are in the driver’s seat, so to speak.”
Over 100 delegates traveled from a dozen countries, representing a good mix of mid to top-level managers working in a variety of different departments and roles and with varying levels of experience: procurement, marketing, brand management, R&D, new to the job or new employees dealing directly or indirectly with packaging.
They had the opportunity to interact with experts in the fields of printing and converting – both digital and conventional – for labels, flexible packaging, folding carton and corrugated boxes. The day was divided into three parts: short plenary sessions, deep-dive breakout sessions, and machine demonstrations.
Topics covered during the plenary sessions included
Digitalization of color
The new role of packaging
The longer deep-dive breakout sessions were organized in smaller groups and focused on labels, flexible packaging, folding carton and corrugated boxes. In the afternoon, delegates visited the impressive 4’000m2 Bobst Competence Center to see machines – embellishment, die-cutting and folding & gluing – producing real packaging at maximum speeds, explained and operated by experts.
The presentations that had the greatest interest were those covering sustainability, flexible materials and the digitalization of color, emphasizing the key current market pressures and priorities facing brand owners.
A number of companies expressed the desire to have focused sessions and case studies. In response to this request, Bobst is working on the concept of customized Masterclass courses for in-house training at companies.