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Release liners: Strategy – Innovation – Market intelligence -- Growth

image The annual event and meeting point for the world’s release liner industry – the AWA Global Release Liner Conference & Exhibition 2015 – takes place on March 18-20 2015 in Denver, Colorado, USA. Organised annually for the last 15 years by AWA Conferences & Events, and alternating between Europe and USA, the event is the unique, established 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 release liner industry faces, and is organized around the theme ‘Strategy – Innovation – Market Intelligence – Growth’. Corey Reardon, President and CEO of AWA Alexander Watson Associates, will open proceedings with up-to-date quick scans of growth, developments, and trends in a variety of markets, providing all involved in the release liner market -- with a global overview. AWA Vice President and Senior Consultant, Jackie Marolda, will augment this data with the results of the annual AWA Industry Survey, highlighting industry players’ responses on such issues as sustainability, costs and profitability, M&A activity, and growth and expectations. Conference delegates will then participate in a ‘real-time’ interactive industry survey, with the results presented instantaneously.

Conference keynote

The conference keynote follows, focussed on innovation, strategic thought, and building a strategy – key topics for success in every business. It comes from David Silverstein, founder and CEO of leading operational strategy consultants BMGI.

Mr Silverstein will then participate in an executive leadership panel discussion featuring, additionally, release liner industry participants, including Dr Bernhard Klofat, CEO, Felix Schoeller; Anthony P McLaurin, CEO, FiberMark North America, and Tomas Rink, President, Ritrama. Corey Reardon will moderate the discussion.

M&A, top players’ performance

A discussion of the current conditions influencing industry M&A activity, along with a review of recent notable transactions, is then the subject addressed by William Hornell, Managing Director, Mesirow Financial; and thereafter Ian Murdoch, European Leader of PwC’s Paper and Packaging Practice, will analyse the performance and return on capital investment achieved in 2013, by region, of the top 100 players in the industry.

Innovation: an all-round perspective

Innovation and the release liner industry – what it is, why it is important, and who is responsible -- are the subject of the next presentation from AWA’s Jackie Marolda, who pinpoints the insights into industry innovation identified by the company’s annual survey.

But is innovation for everybody, or is it just the birthright of a chosen group of people like Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk? –According to Dr Phil Samuel, Chief Innovation Officer at BMGI, everyone can, in fact, embrace that creative spirit, master innovation, and become extraordinary human beings. His presentation will illustrate seven habits of highly-effective innovators, featuring examples from a variety of industries, including specialty paper/coating.

A full day’s program focussed on a key issue for the release liner industry concludes with a supplier forum and cocktails and networking around the exhibition.

Second day – market focussed

On the second day, the conference program moves into release liner’s end-use markets, with presentations on release liners in self-adhesive graphics applications from expert graphics instructor and installer Paul Roba; the use of composites in the automotive industry, from Greg Rucks, Transportation & Industry, Rocky Mountain Institute; building a graphite composite snowboard from Steffen Hak, independent pre-preg specialist and snowboard designer; the hygiene market, from Theo Wilting, CEO, Akronn Industries; and the medical sector, from Mike O’Connell, Business Development Manager, AD Tape and Label.

The competitive technologies currently threatening pressure-sensitive labeling’s market leadership are examined by Dan Muenzer, Vice President, Marketing, for Constantia Flexibles, in an in-depth review of the prime label market.

Concurrent Pre-Conference Program

The AWA Global Release Liner Industry Conference 2015 features, on March 18, the opportunity to participate in one of two concurrent programs – a release liner workshop, or a silicone and technical session. These additions to the event’s agenda enable delegates to drill down into their specialist areas of interest.

The AWA Global Release Liner Industry Conference 2015, being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Denver, also includes a complementary exhibition and extensive networking opportunities. It is sponsored by leading companies across the release liner value chain, including platinum sponsors Dow Corning, Infiana (formerly Huhtamaki), and UPM. Full details are available via the AWA Alexander Watson Associates website,, where it is also possible to register for any event online.