Senior marketers and designers are convening in Chicago for our annual Packaging that Sells conference this fall-here’s what to expect.

Packaging that Sells brings marketers and designers together to elevate the dialogue about package design and give it a voice in brand strategy.  

In the 10 years since we began hosting the conference, Packaging that Sells has become the only venue where marketers and designers can come together to rally. It’s no secret that the two disciplines have historically had a complicated relationship: management structures are partly to blame; differing personalities and outlooks also cause friction; sometimes it’s just the case of conflicting priorities.

And that’s a topic that we’re tackling head on this year with Jon Denham, Kraft Foods’ former vice president of design and innovation, who will moderate a panel with industry leaders to discuss how marketing, design and other disciplines can better build cultures of collaboration and support. We like to think this conversation is continuing a role we’ve always played in elevating the dialogue about package design and giving it a voice in strategy. There’s no other event that brings it all together and looks at our slice of the world in quite the same way.

This year is no different. Playing out over a day and a half, we’ll hear from luminaries like Johnson & Johnson’s chief design officer Chris Hacker, whose passion is empowering designers to champion sustainable design to the business world, and Andrea Fairchild, who, as vice president of brand management at Gatorade, is driving strategy for the brand’s reinvention as a multi-platformed performance brand called “G.”

We’ll give you plenty of how-to’s with compelling case studies from mission-driven brands that are reaching consumers with emotional connections-territory that most every brand is looking to claim these days. Neil Grimmer, CEO of Nest Collective, will tell us how his leading brand awakened a dormant food category with intuitive package design and, now, is leading a baby and kids food revolution. Teresa Lindsey Houston, global marketing director of Kellogg’s All-Bran, will explain how she steered her global brand to lifestyle-driven emotional territory. And Newell Rubbermaid’s creative director and director of marketing will team up to detail a just-inked campaign to position the Sharpie brand as a catalyst for self expression.

Packaging that Sells gives emerging brands a platform to keep attendees on top of trends. Ten years ago, Method co-founder Eric Ryan was on stage as a brand to watch; last year, he served as our keynote.

We also make a point to give emerging brands a platform at Packaging that Sells. There’s Justin’s, whose push for innovation has made the nut butter brand a darling of retailers like Whole Foods, and also Replenish, which, through its business model and its broader partnerships, is reinventing the way the consumer packaged goods world thinks about package reuse. Our goal for giving challenger brands like these a voice is to make sure you’re constantly staying on top of the current trends.

For further trends insight, make sure to check out Rudy Wilson, Frito-Lay’s vice president of marketing, who’ll dish on the company’s forays into augmented reality and compostable packaging and his creation of a global design team that’s being tasked to power the future of packaging at Frito-Lay. Visionary Piers Fawkes, founder of the trends and innovation consultancy PSFK, will look at the future of retail and how technology is rewriting the rules of merchandising, packaging and display. And Tim Stock, managing director of trend-shop ScenarioDNA will give us his unique take on the culture of luxury (luxury has lost its compass, he says).

We’ve also carved out a brand-owners-only forum within the confines of Packaging that Sells called LEAP. A series of roundtable discussions-exclusively for brands and retailers-LEAP is assembling CPG decision-makers for peer-to-peer problem-solving conversations on the opportunities and challenges surrounding strategic design.

We’re excited about the way things have shaped up. And we hope you’ll join us for a day and a half of insights, inspiration and connection-making opportunities that are unique to Packaging that Sells-the one place where design and strategy truly meet. 

A Snapshot

Here’s what you need to know aboutPackaging that Sells:

W City Center – Chicago

October 6 + 7, 2011

Who attends
More than 400 senior-level brand marketers and designers; retail brand marketers and designers; and cream-of-the-crop brand design firms.

Chris Hacker, global design officer, Johnson & Johnson and Andrea Fairchild, vice president of brand marketing, Gatorade

For a detailed agenda and registration information Or the latest developments.