Sometimes you just need to step away your desk, your work, and your office to refresh and explore new ideas. That’s what a conference, such as BrandPackaging’s “Packaging That Sells” is all about.

More than 200 people recently gathered in Chicago to explore design theory and practice, hearing from industry experts and mingling to discuss best practices in packaging. In an industry that thrives on being able to constantly re-invent itself, this type of exposure can be the catalyst for innovation. 

Sometimes we don’t even realize it. First-day keynote speaker Daryl Weber addressed neuroscience, the unconscious side of packaging design. He explained how marketers can make subtle changes in their messaging to influence shoppers’ choices. Meanwhile, second-day keynoter JP Kuehlwein, explained how some companies use storytelling and myth to elevate their product to an “Ueber Brand.”

Other presenters rounded out the program with practical advice on a range of topics from managing the production process to case studies that detailed the path to structural design and brand success. Most attendees left the conference voicing enthusiasm for the speakers and how they’d apply what they had learned at the event.

Conference-goers also had the opportunity to view and examine entries in BrandPackaging’s annual design competition. Look for these premiere packages to be displayed in December’s special Design Gallery edition.  To see the 2016 winners, visit

In this issue, see how retailers are building multiple lines of their own products into brands that promote shopper loyalty. Also two stories relate how companies across the supply chain are using Big Data to better understand their customers and uncover unexpected insights by combining and analyzing vast amounts of data being collected from consumers.