On 4 October 2013, Afera’s Annual Conference was held; this year in Sicily. In attendance were a great cross-section of upper-level management of the most important players, large and small, in the tape industry. The four day event’s attendance consisted of 119 delegates and 26 partners from 13 European countries (including Turkey), plus the U.S. and U.A.E.
As part of the working programme of the Conference, a “Captains of Industry” debate took place. The meeting saw the attendance of more tape producers than in the past and marked the shift of themes and discussions to real growth and the way forward for companies along the tape industry value chain. It also offered the highest-quality presentations to date and solidified itself as the premier networking and informational event for the self-adhesive tape industry. Various Conference participants, in addition to Afera’s management, already refer to the Sicily meeting as the most forward-looking and fruitful industry gathering of the last several years.
A panel consisting of Mike Ayres (CEO, Advance Tapes), Laurent Derolez (CEO, Chargeurs/Novacel S.A. and incoming Afera President), Aric Getty (European IATD Business Director, 3M), Eric Pass (Director – Member of Board, Nitto Europe NV) and Matthias von Schwerdtner (Corporate Vice President Industrial Products & Markets, tesa) discussed loaded questions posed by moderator Mike Punter (Managing Director, Parafix Tapes & Conversions and Afera Marketing Committee Chairman). Along the Conference theme “Moving from Survival to Growth in the Post-Crisis Tape Market,” the experienced top managers shared their reality and views on planning for growth, staying competitive, innovation, the Generation Y workforce and much more. Some interesting conclusions about where European tape businesses are currently headed were drawn from this interesting 40-minute conversation.