Afera Annual Conference 2022

The shape of tape in 2030: 65th symposium for the European tape industry





65th Annual Conference featuring adhesive tape supply chain challenges hackathon a great success

Afera looks back on a work- and fun-filled yearly autumn meeting, which provided great interaction and learnings about “The Shape of Tape in 2030”. Attendees left the co-creation session with an integrated view of collaboration opportunities to create a sustainable supply chain and better, protected innovation of products and technologies with value chain partners.

The European Adhesive Tape Association’s premier annual event took place from 28-30 September, exclusively face-to-face at Hotel Las Arenas Balneario Resort. Themed “The Shape of Tape in 2030” with a special emphasis on supply chain challenges, opportunities and solutions, the Working Programme featured 6 industry-related presentations, a co-creation session with the audience on Thursday (Day 1), experts panel discussions on both days, 8 networking moments/activities and an inspiring setting in Valencia, Spain. Many of the 125 participants provided overwhelmingly positive feedback on their experiences at the Conference, especially about the networking and interactive activities. They all returned to their businesses with fresh insights and ideas about their own supply chains and other business strategies.

What Afera Members thought

“The 2022 Annual Conference demonstrated clearly that our Members are very aware of the forces that currently—and will in the future—shape our industry. And that by collaboration where we can, we will be future-proofing ourselves, certainly in the field of sustainability,” commented Evert Smit, Afera President and director scouting at Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG.

“For me, the joint exercise about supply chains was a magnificent highlight and evidence that collaboration can truly work magic. Using modern foresight tools will help us to build the required scenarios. The regulatory, IP and legal landscapes will play an even more important role in our futures. Only through open, respectful discussions (‘let’s disagree more’), we can deepen our understanding of the underlying forces at play. And only by acting together as a tape industry will we ensure the world understands that tapes can and should be the relevant bonding technology of the 21st century!”

Rupert Kichler, Afera Marketing Committee Chairman and marketing director at Avery Dennison Performance Tapes, who acted as Moderator of Day 1, added, “The tape industry’s 65th Annual Conference in Valencia again proved to be the most important meeting of the movers and shakers of our industry. In the face of unprecedented economic and political uncertainty, participants confirmed that discussing and networking about the future of our business helps them in acquiring the foresight, orientation and tools with which to meet these challenges.”

“Again Afera’s Conference was a big success, just seeing everyone in the Industry here, eager to reconnect after the COVID years,” said Nick Dewingaerden, business development specialist at Kaneka Belgium N.V. “There are lots of opportunities to conduct both planned and ad hoc business meetings. What I value the most is the important mix of high-quality presentations, discussions and chances to network Afera provides.”

Gianluca Micci, general manager of Erga Tapes srl, shared that the event was “really interesting, especially this year with the newly structured Programme including the new supply chain exercise, which gave us the chance to engage with producers and primary suppliers in more depth. Trying to form a vision of what the supply chain will look like in the future is not easy but very useful. I was in the “Redesign for Bottlenecks/Risks” group, and I think we were successful in understanding the importance of remaining positive and continuing to work with other parts of the chain.”

“I think Afera’s congress was really interesting, with good conversations about the future,” offered Graeme Roan, PSTC Marketing Committee Co-Chairman and global marketing manager of adhesives at Synthomer plc. “At PSTC, we have been thinking about the future for a few years now—with some missteps along the way, but then you always get new things out of those. Now we have ended up with a strong outreach plan which is helping to grow the Industry for all. What we have seen here in Valencia is that there is a lot of promise for our industry; we just should not overcomplicate it.”

“As this is my first time at an Afera gathering, because I jumped in for a colleague of mine, I had no expectations. It was a really great experience! I enjoyed the Technical Committee Meeting, in which we got a lot of work done, and I also liked learning from the presentations in the plenary session. Meeting so many people in such a nice environment was also great. I guess you could say that there wasn’t too much of any one thing, so the Annual Conference was very well balanced,” commented Kerstin Unverhau, team leader of R&D at 3M Europe.

Participants survey

About 50% of attendees participated in a survey of Afera’s 65th Annual Conference, and on a scale of 1 to 5, they gave the event a 4.0. They rated the social programme and networking opportunities the same. When asked what they liked about the event, 38% chose the interactive workshop on supply chain challenges and solutions, while 36% chose networking, 31% chose the plenary content and 17% the setup and location. Supply chain expert Bram Desmet, who lectured on the service, cost and cash concept, and Pablo Englebienne, Afera Regulatory Affairs Manager, who updated us on Afera’s Flagship Sustainability Project, were the most popular speakers.


The event’s dedicated Programme organising committee included Anne-Marie Klink (3M), Jean-Loup Masson (Novacel), Bert van Loon (Afera Strategist), Mr. Smit, Mr. Kichler and Afera Secretary General Astrid Lejeune. Mr. Van Loon and Mr. Kichler served as our 2 energetic moderators of the 2 days of the Working Programme, which included the topics:

  • Technical, Marketing and Steering Committee Meetings
  • Afera Flagship Sustainability Project Workstream Meeting and update
  • Afera’s role in helping the shape of tape in the next decade
  • Supply chain trends and challenges for the European tape industry, including a co-creation session on scenarios and shared priorities for the future
  • Foresight and futures intelligence activity in a business setting
  • What is wrong with the patent system
  • Building future confidence in adhesive bonding technology.

Next year’s Conference

Afera’s 66th Afera Annual Conference will take place from 4 to 6 October 2023 at the Westin Dragonara Resort on Malta.

Read more about supply chain challenges hackathon

Afera’s recent Annual Conferences

2021 – Valencia, Spain - "Full circle: how the tape industry stays relevant in a circular economy"
2020 – Online
 – “Sustainability and circularity”
2019 – Lisbon, Portugal
– “Making the tape business future-proof”
2018 – Athens, Greece
 – "Innovation and digitisation in adhesive tape technology"
2017 – Turin, Italy
 – "The next Generation of Tape Makers and Users"
 Hamburg, Germany – "Managing at the speed of change"
2015 – Marseille, France
 – “What is our next frontier?”
2014 – Dubrovnik, Croatia – “The future of the European adhesive tape industry: technology, trends, and markets”
2013 – Taormina, Sicily, Italy – “Moving from survival to growth in the post-crisis tape market”
2012 – Madrid, Spain – “Sustainability: hype or your chance now?”
2011 – Berlin, Germany
2010 – Stockholm, Sweden
2009 – Cracow, Poland
2008 – Florence, ItalyAfera’s 50th anniversary celebratory conference press release 
2007 – Barcelona, Spain
2006 – Nice, France