i think my first labelexpo was in 2010, ive now missed 3 but the turn out has always been great. im pretty sure it keeps growing. flexo is a print industry thats growing, you cant exactly digitize product labels and packaging instead of print. i would think with more retail going online maybe some of the importance will diminish but products still need to be identified.
labelexpo is usually a good time, too bad im not in that segment anymore.
Years ago I saw a live demo in Australia of a similar packaging concept. The box sensed RFID tags in the clothing of the person standing in front of the box to determine their demographic (adult or child). It then used OLED tech on the box front to display an appropriate video clip.
One of the things we did behind the counter at shows was to look at the expressions of folks attending to see how they were enjoying it (I don't think the hipster with the beard would be let anywhere near a press or in a food packaging plant):
LOL! I completely agree with pushpixels comment above. Regardless of the industry, buyers still need to see/feel products in person before investing a substantial amount which makes tradeshows an essential part of the decision making process. Plus as we all know, people buy people. You can't create long-lasting relationships virtually the way you can at an event.
Tradeshows are pretty much "Grocery Stores" for the industrial sector. When a baker needs ingredients for a cookie recipe they head to the grocery store to shop & compare. When printers/converters of labels, flexible packaging, and folding cartons need certain machinery, inks, materials etc they attend trade shows such as Labelexpo to see, learn, compare and find those key ingredients for their print shop all in one place.
I personally believe the internet has only propelled the tradeshows at least for the labels & package printing industry. Global exposure is only a click away and a google search is all it takes now for visitors to see honest feedback and compare events to decide which ones make the most sense to invest in attending.