AEROSOL EUROPE: Mr. D’Haese, dear Alain, the FEA Global Aerosol Congress & Exhibition will take place in September this year. The industry is already looking forward to this date. How are the preparations going?
Alain D’Haese: The FEA team started working in 2018 on the events, which were initially planned for 2020 but as you know, had to be postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic.
Now after this lengthy period where meeting one other was almost impossible, preparations are rising to a crescendo, and bookings for the exhibition are increasing regularly.
Registration is now open, and we invite readers to have a look at www.feaglobalevents.org, which provides updated information about the exhibition, the FEA Global Aerosol Awards 2022, and key practical information for planning your visit to Lisbon, Portugal. Please join us; I am eager to meet you all at the FEAerosol2022 on September 21 & 22, 2022.
AEROSOL EUROPE: It seems that the COVID crisis is gradually abating. How do you view this development?
Alain D’Haese: We are witnessing a decrease in cases and the virulence of variants on a global scale. In Europe, governments are progressively lifting their restrictive measures. There will be still some reluctance to travel globally in the next few months, but FEAerosol2022 seems to be ideally placed in the calendar.
AEROSOL EUROPE: After two long years without trade fairs, exhibitions, and congresses, the aerosol industry is longing for a face-to-face event. Can you tell this from the number of visitors and exhibitors?
Alain D’Haese: No less than 1,000 key industry decision-makers and 90 to 100 exhibitors representing the full supply chain of aerosol packaging worldwide are expected at FEAerosol2022 in Lisbon.
Free entrance to tour the exhibition and the Aerosol Today® conference for 2 days is offered to exhibitors, their colleagues, and their guests. Further information on conditions is available at Exhibit in 2022 - FEA Global Aerosol Events (feaglobalevents.org).
AEROSOL EUROPE: Presumably booths can still be booked? Until when will this be possible?
Alain D’Haese: Exhibition spaces can be booked until late July 2022, nevertheless, the best locations sell quickly, so the sooner you book, the better placed you will be. Readers are welcome to contact the FEA team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our attractive price-quality ratio.
AEROSOL EUROPE: How has COVID affected production in Europe?
Alain D’Haese: We cannot deny the negative impact of the pandemic. But today the industry is confronted with the challenge of excessive costs for everything: metal packaging, energy, transport, chemicals… due to the unbalance between demand and availability initiated by a speedy recovery.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Is it fair to assume that similar developments have also taken place outside of Europe?
Alain D’Haese: All governments are facing the same crisis, but they have managed it in different ways. This will also apply for the recovery period. The European economy is undergoing unprecedented transformations in the context of major uncertainties linked to the global and security outlook. The European Commission has recently put forward a European Growth Model and remains committed to a green and digital transition and to strengthening social and economic resilience.
AEROSOL EUROPE: With a view to the work of the association: What achievements are you particularly proud of in the past year?
Alain D’Haese: Key issues related to recycling and reuse were already tackled, but the industry will still face new challenges and opportunities. I am particularly proud to see the aerosol industry embracing a green transition. Guiding the industry will probably become as important as its defense.
AEROSOL EUROPE: How high do you estimate the growth potential in the European aerosol market to be in the near future?
Alain D’Haese: I am probably not the right guy to comment on commercial issues.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Which topics urgently need to be addressed within our industry?
Alain D’Haese: There are numerous important challenges and opportunities, all related to a green transition. The aerosol industry has the expertise and creativity to cope with these, but we have no time to waste. In this context, the next FEAerosol2022 will be the right moment to show off the latest innovations, have in-person discussions with customers about next steps, and exchange ideas with peers.
AEROSOL EUROPE: What goals have you set for yourself for the time after COVID?
Alain D’Haese: To meet people in-person again and shake hands.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Mr. D’Haese, dear Alain, thank you for this conversation.