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image The annual event and meeting point for the world’s release liner industry – the AWA Global Release Liner Conference & Exhibition 2014 – takes place on March 20-21 2014 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Organised annually by AWA Conferences & Events, and alternating between Europe and USA, the event is the established – and unique – industry forum for this broad-ranging sector.


The state of the industry

This year’s program appropriately reflects the many markets, opportunities, and challenges the industry faces. The conference keynote, examining the state of the industry and its future expectations, is this year delivered by Michael Apperson, CEO of leading release liner manufacturer Loparex Group, and will be followed by an executive leadership panel discussion between Mr Apperson and Dr Bernhard Klofat, CEO of specialty paper manufacturers Felix Schoeller Group, moderated by Corey Reardon, President and CEO of AWA Alexander Watson Associates.

Up-to-the-minute market data

Mr Reardon will then present AWA’s up-to-the-minute overview of the current release liner market in terms of growth, developments, and trends, and Ms Jackie Marolda, AWA Vice President and Senior Consultant, will then inform delegates of the results of the company’s annual release liner industry survey, conducted with industry players around the world. The survey is a valuable guide to the industry’s activities and expectations on key topics such as sustainability, costs and profitability, M&A activity, and growth prospects. Mergers and acquisitions are also the topic of an expert paper from Thomas Blaige, Chairman and CEO of Blaige & Company, investment bankers specializing in the plastics, packaging, and chemical industries.

Materials and markets

Release liner components, from pulp and paper to films and resins, are discussed in specialist papers, and are a key feature of a panel discussion involving speakers from five leading companies involved with release liner. Self-adhesive graphics applications, envelopes, and medical applications are also featured in the program, along with a ‘label maker’s perspective’ from Alan Hazlewood of the Skanem Group.


Sustainability is a topic high on the industry’s agenda today, and Calvin Frost, CEO of Channeled Resources Group, will present a paper on ‘the complexity of being green’, while EUROPEN’s Managing Director, Virginia Janssens, will update delegates on the EU Waste Review and how it affects packaging and packaging waste.

Parallel seminars

The AWA Global Release Liner Industry Conference 2014, being held at the Park Plaza Amsterdam Airport Hotel, also features a complementary exhibition, extensive networking opportunities, and, on the day prior to the conference, March 19, the opportunity to attend one of two specialist seminars – on linerless label technology or silicone technology – at the same location. Full details are available via the AWA Alexander Watson Associates website,, where it is also possible to register for any event online.