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AUSPACK promotion pushes the boundaries of traditional event marketing

Posted on March 8th, 2019 in Engaging Experiences, Event Marketing, Event Technology

Collaboration transforms packaging’s top trends on PKN cover

AUSPACK is all about cutting-edge packaging innovation and trends, so what better way to demonstrate the latest influences in the industry than put them on the cover of a magazine about the event?

PKN’s March-April issue is devoted to AUSPACK – the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association’s (APPMA’s) biennial event. And the cover will very clearly show exactly what the processing and packaging industry’s leading Australasian-region trade show is all about.

It also highlights another aspect: collaboration.

To create this innovative magazine cover, AUSPACK teamed up with APPMA member Currie Group, exhibitors Dreemar and HP, as well as PKN, animation studio Smoosh Creative and pouch-printing specialist Read Labels & Packaging. The result is “a cover experience with a difference”.

Choosing the best subject matter was simply a case of looking at the latest trends and influences on packaging, something that will be seen in every aisle of the largest AUSPACK ever.

Showcasing smart choices

With flexible pouches being the fastest-growing packaging format in many food categories, and digital printing coming into its own in the flexible packaging sector, it was decided to illustrate the process of printing and forming flexible pouches in a smart manufacturing environment.

AUSPACK also wanted to integrate the latest consumer-engagement technology with application in packaging – variable printing for personalisation and customisation – and the interactive experience of augmented reality (AR).

PKN’s March-April 2018 cover was the much-talked-about and highly creative variable printed #rhinosdownunder, a collaboration between APPMA member Currie Group and its technology partner HP. These two companies were once again involved in the collaborative, innovative “blue-sky thinking” behind this AUSPACK edition cover.

Currie Group Labels and Packaging Director Mark Daws and Marketing Manager Matt Tangey devised the initial concept for the illustrated factory layout, calling on Dreemar to manage the design, AR and app development. Dreemar in turn reached out to Smoosh Creative to assist with the graphic design and animation.

Streaming uniqueness

For the variable-printing element, the collaborators drew on HP’s software innovation, printing the cover on an HP digital press at PKN’s printer Blue Star, and using HP SmartStream Collage (this is part of the HP SmartStream Designer suite for Adobe Illustrator and InDesign).

Mark Daws said in a nutshell it uses images (or other graphic elements) and combines them to create almost unlimited variations, each one unique. And in the case of the PKN AUSPACK cover, more than 5,000 unique variations of the cover were printed. However, all this happens within the boundaries of “rules” set by the creator. For this PKN cover, rules were set for which areas on the factory floor could field variable elements, so, for instance, an operator couldn’t end “up under a pallet or on top of a machine”.

Stand up pouches

From here, the next idea came to fruition: producing a stand-up pouch with the front and back cover printed onto it to reinforce the concept with an example in people’s hands.

For this, we called on customer Ross Read, MD of Read Labels and Packaging, a pioneer in digital printing for flexible packaging who has recently installed an HP digital press that is the first in Australia used to print flexible film for pouches.

The idea was that the pouch would carry the static image of the cover, and be inserted in the magazine so that the reader had a point of comparison of the static design with the “collaged” one appearing on the cover.

The cover illustration showcases latest digital technologies in flexible packaging application.

The power of AR

Bringing the whole project “to life” was an important final step. This is where Dreemar came into the picture, creating the AUSPACK2019 App to give readers an AUSPACK-themed augmented reality (AR) experience.

Bill Atta, Chief Product Officer at Dreemar, said, “The app is designed to be used in conjunction with the AUSPACK branded March-April edition of PKN. The reader simply hovers their smart device over the magazine cover to see the image come to life.”

He said the experience itself is a 2D animation shown as an isometric projection to give the feeling of 3D. (Isometric projections are a way of visually representing 3D objects in 2D, and are often used in technical and engineering drawings.)

Bringing AUSPACK’s strengths to life

Anne-Marie Mina, marketing director at Exhibitions & Trade Fairs, the organiser of AUSPACK, said: “This was a complex project, and we were delighted with its execution. Teaming up with partners who are exhibitors, APPMA members and local industry players was also an important driver for the collaboration.”

APPMA chairman Mark Dingley said, “The technology illustrated conceptually on this special cover is in keeping with our AUSPACK conference theme of ‘Smart. Connected. Sustainable.’ It’s also what the AUSPACK exhibition stands for: a showcase of the best-in-class technology and the latest packaging trends.”

AUSPACK 2019 will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 26-29 March 2019. To register, and for more information, please visit