For those in the product packaging and processing business there was only one “place to be” from 4 to 10 May: interpack in Düsseldorf. Under the heading “Welcome Home” the trade fair welcomed visitors from all over the world. The joy of finally coming together as an industry was great.
It delivered what it promised and exceeded exhibitors’ expectations: the world’s largest and most relevant packaging trade fair set standards yet again from 4 to 10 May, connected the industry on a global level and acted as both a marketplace and content hub. Visitors from 155 countries, many with firm intentions to buy, came to interpack 2023. 2,807 exhibitors showcased the power and creativity of the packaging industry with their technologies and solutions. What was easy to see were the numerous impulses, ideas and concrete business deals which will be implemented over the coming years.
At the end of the trade fair Bernd Jablonowski, Executive Director at Messe Düsseldorf, says: “With interpack we were able to finally hold one of the Messe Düsseldorf’s most important events again. It has reported back impressively and reinforced its position as the global platform for the exchange amongst all players in the packaging sector, related process industries and all user industries. Our targets were exceeded by far.”
Altogether approx. 143,000 visitors travelled to interpack in Düsseldorf, two thirds of them coming from abroad. Alongside many European countries, the largest visitor nations were India, Japan and the USA. Around 75% of visitors came from middle or top management.
“interpack at last!” was a phrase frequently heard in the halls – because after a six-year break the big community was finally able to meet again in person. And this was reflected in the joy on people’s faces. “interpack 2023 will reverberate with us for a long time – both in business and personal terms,” says Director Thomas Dohse after seven trade fair days adding: “The mood in the halls was great and the inter-cultural exchange enriching for all sides. It was ‘simply unique’ again.”
This was underscored by the positive feedback from visitors, 96% of whom stated they had achieved their trade fair objectives. Just as satisfied were the exhibitors whose expectations had been exceeded many times over. “We thank Messe Düsseldorf for the outstanding organisation. I’m confident that I’m speaking on behalf of all companies here. interpack 2023 is simply a must for suppliers and users from all over the world to exchange experiences and do business,” says Markus Rustler, President of interpack 2023 at the conclusion of the event.
Transformation as an opportunity
Considering current market developments, the enormous challenges but also the even bigger opportunities, this interpack definitely proved one of the most important ones in its history. The need to automate, the will to act sustainably and changed consumption habits are all expressions of transformation.
interpack’s strategic orientation towards the four Hot Topics: Circular Economy, Resource Management, Digital Technologies and Product Safety found concrete expression in numerous innovations. The trade fair, which has traditionally been a key cornerstone in the innovation cycle of the packaging industry and related process industries, also more than lived up to this claim this year.
Sustainable packaging technologies
All facets of sustainability were top themes at interpack. Exhibitors presented high-end technologies and holistic concepts that consider efficiency and sustainability along their entire production line. “Many companies in the consumer goods industry have set their own sustainability targets,” says Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association within VDMA at interpack. “Over the past few years, packaging machinery manufacturers have succeeded in implementing sustainable packaging concepts by means of corresponding technical adaptations and newly developed machinery solutions. interpack is the showcase for innovations and, at the same time, the point of departure for developing further towards a sustainable circular economy,” says Clemens summing up.
The many solutions celebrating a world premiere at interpack also included a host of packaging materials and supplies in all their diversity. In excess of 1,000 exhibitors were showcased in this segment alone, making for a new record.
interpack is not only a business but also a content platform for the sector, both live and digitally. A total of 50 talks were hosted at the Tightly Packed TV studio care of interpack and ‘packaging journal’, thereby generating additional visibility and reach of the top themes and trends through live streams. Some 200,000 viewers dialled in during the run-time of the trade fair alone.
The Spotlight Talks & Trends Forum proved a visitor magnet and focused on seven themes on seven days including amongst others, logistics, circular economy and e-Commerce. The programme was presented jointly by interpack, the dfv Conference Group and PackReport.
New and fresh impulses
Also attracting plenty of attention were the other Specials such as the interpack Start-up Zone, the joint stand Co-Packing, several award ceremonies spotlighting exciting packaging innovations, the ‘SAVE FOOD Highlight-Route’ with new approaches to fighting global food loss and waste and the promotion of women at ‘Women in Packaging’. The special buzz at this premiere came by way of the approximately 200 women from the international sector, who exchanged and established new networks during interpack.
components – which was held as a concurrent event with 80 exhibitors in a separate hall – also went down well with visitors. The upstream industries supplying components and software to packaging technology and process engineering play a prominent role in the digitalisation of manufacturing processes.
The next interpack will be held in Düsseldorf from 7 to 13 May 2026.
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