How often have you heard the word “Normally” in the last 4 - 5 months? Or used, in private as well as in business? In private life, “normally” introduces sentences such as “we would visit the grandparents, parents or friends” or “we would go on vacation”, “I do not order these things online - but”. Times have changed.
In the business area, too, you make statements such as: “We normally deliver just in time”. “Normally, the service technician is on-site the next day.” “Usually we visit our customers”. “Normally our customers come for acceptance” or “Normally we travel to the XY fair”. Our lives have changed.
For us as PETnology - with our objective of “connecting comPETence” - it is currently also different. Because normally our PETnology Americas conference would have been held in May. Normally we greet our participants with a handshake to a reception the day before our conference and enjoy the personal exchange in a relaxed atmosphere. And normally we would have conducted some on-site interviews for our comPETence magazine. Normally
When it became clear that the travel restrictions would last longer, we asked ourselves: How about a digital conference? That is how we created the virtual Pack Passion Week, as a signal for the industry, as a platform for knowledge exchange in times of pandemic. 960 participants from 66 countries made it a big event. Many have thanked us for this; they enjoyed listening to the lectures, noticing that developments continue, that everyone, really everyone, is somehow affected. In this way, our 25th international conference did not run on a real stage, but a virtual one. And it felt good.
The many conversations I had with colleagues over the past few months, also the feedback we have received during or after our conference, made one thing clear: the packaging industry, with all its flexibility, can make it through the crisis. Stay tuned and optimistic. And find your way (back) into the (new) normal.
Take care and all the best.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Otto Appel, PETnology/tecPET GmbH