6 October: Day 2 Wrap-Up

6 October:  Day 2 Wrap-Up

Day 2 of Afera’s Malta Conference Working Programme was about the art of thinking in various value propositions and the potential it can offer both individual companies and the adhesive tapes industry as a whole. The morning was dominated by another lively interactive session on collaboratively creating VPs for various industry segments and profiles (which will be very useful for everyone at the company-level and all the way down the value chain). 

Innovator Denis Oakley, who “transforms engineers into entrepreneurs with mentor-led accelerators,” delivered an introductory presentation on “the why”, the theory, models and real-life examples to illustrate the power of VPs. With attendees spread over ten tables, Mr. Oakley then led a workshop on crafting industry-level personas representing the collective jobs to be done (JTBD) and customers pains and gains of their sectors. 

This was followed by another workshop on developing industry-level value proposition with analysis of pain killers, gain creators and products and services. Not only did we cover various types of specialty and packaging tapes, but we managed to integrate the challenges of achieving sustainability and preparing for the next generation workforce with key insights and methodology. 

“If you take away anything today—if you return and start to think about doing this within your companies—think about the eventual customer of each piece of tape or product portfolio that you care about; then think about the consumer or end user and all the pains that they’ve got,” emphasised Mr. Oakley. “And then think about how you could use tapes in a different way within the product lifecycle to reduce those pains. That is where you are going to get the most value from having spent time in this session.” Mr. Van Loon added his take that “it first has to get really messy before it can be cleaned up.” Formulating strategy takes core time and several stages of brainstorming and analysis.

Mr. Smit closed the entire event by discussing his development of the persona of the ideal tapes industry Conference goer: Joan Stick.  She primarily attends the Annual Conference to network, learn and have fun. Her challenges are the difficulty in obtaining approval to travel and attend the Conference, and the lack of time to create meaningful connections once she is there. Afera is currently working on this case study, to ever improve our offering to Members. 

“We want to make this industry better, stronger, anti-fragile… with circularity/sustainability and a better value proposition,” concluded Mr. Smit. “So these two qualities related to future-proofing our business are invariably linked, …so let’s find a way to make our industry stick!” He said that the pains of each of our businesses vary, depending on the part of the industry in which you operate. Some companies are closer to sustainability than others, because their customers may be demanding it, while other companies are still focussed primarily on price. Afera needs to take all these differences into account.

Ultimately, working at an event such as this requires a “safe” feeling, a “safe space”, and Afera offers this: joining in Industry fellowship – even among tape company competitors – in a neutral environment. A closing buffet lunch followed.

Programme details, slide presentations and event content

For more information, visit https://www.aferatapeconference.com/. The proceedings and additional content of the 66th Annual Conference are made exclusively available to attendees. 

Next year’s Conference

Afera’s 67th Annual Conference will be held 25-27 September 2024 at the Hyatt Regency in Thessaloniki, Greece. Be the first to learn about programme and registration information by signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page.


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