Aura’s inaugural US conference

If you’re going to launch a sales campaign in America, you need to do it in style and that’s exactly what we did with Aura.

Where better than Austin, Texas from April 24 – 27th at the amazing GreenBlue SPC Impact 2023, where our Aura stand became a hub of activity.

With only a few familiar faces predicted, I didn’t know what to expect but I was blown away, the whole SPC team were so welcoming. I cannot even imagine how much time and effort goes into running an event with over 800 delegates, 100 speakers and various socials, but they did a fantastic job! From tours including Amazon Global Robotics to yoga classes and climbing sessions, not to mention the sponsored evening socials, SPC Impact had everything and it was so much fun.

I promise it wasn’t all just fun, there was a lot of hard work done too! From Day 1 we were off to a flying start and I had the privilege, along with Greg Lawson, to host a workshop. Our workshop ‘Real-time data is key to making your packaging fit for today and tomorrow’ was really well attended by a good mix of retailers, brands, product manufacturers and packaging converters. I like to make these types of workshops as interactive as possible and I am pleased to say all attendees were active participants with our survey and engaged in a great Q&A session at the end.

The survey was really insightful, some of the results are below:

Yes, there are huge improvements to make but starting with a desire for change and acknowledging the need for live and accurate packaging data is a great place to begin.

Gillian Garside-Wight, Aura

Although I was saddened that almost 80% believe a circular economy will take over 20 years to achieve:

Surely together we can do better and make this happen sooner?

Day 1 was a pretty good start and it just kept getting better. The second day was when our stand activity really started to soar. We saw many faces who attended our workshop and wanted to know more and many others who were intrigued. It also helps that we have the amazing support from Cheryl Lam, Walmart and Steve Ramus, Perrigo who very kindly agreed to be on a video loop talking about the benefits e-halo delivers to their businesses. We were booking demos and arranging meetings in the breaks, and follow-up sessions once we got back to the UK. The energy was high, and we could see the need for e-halo was recognized by everyone we spoke to.

However, nothing prepared me for witnessing the sheer scale of the event which was blatantly evident at the Main Stage. Wow! Hosted impeccably by Paul Nowak, GreenBlue with some truly inspiring speakers, from debates and Q&A to keynotes and even Ted Talk style agendas, this was on a different scale to anything in the UK.

UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum

Seeing so many people in one place, all with the same ambition was really motivational

Gillian Garside-Wight, Aura

Then for the grand finale (our last evening in Austin) when we hosted a private dinner at the breathtaking UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum. Everyone was in great spirits and there was a lovely buzz, where very little work talk was had but we all had shared interests. The best part for me was connecting as people, following covid I have learnt never to take social interaction for granted and this was exceptional. Not even the rain could dampen the atmosphere, in fact it added to the beautiful setting. My particular ‘nature’ highlight being the fireflies which put on an amazing light display and they really did top off a perfect evening.

Even right up to the last day enquiries were still coming thick and fast. Needless to say our diaries have been packed since SPC Impact 2023. It was unanimous, our first US sales venture was a Texan sized success. I have not only fallen in love with Austin but I have also met so many fantastic people who share my passion for sustainability. I am really encouraged by the momentum created and genuinely believe we can make a meaningful difference together.

Thank you SPC and thank you Austin. Let the American adventure continue, next stop Seattle for GreenBiz Circularity next week. If you would like to know more about how e-halo can provide you with real-time data to make your packaging fit for today and tomorrow, please get in touch. Our consultants have set Thursday 22nd June aside in their busy schedule to allow for anyone interested to book in a power half hour chat. 

Gillian Garside-Wight Consulting Director

About the Author

Gill leads our consulting offer, with over 20 years’ experience in the packaging industry, strategically developing packaging strategies, roadmaps and packaging solutions to meet the needs of clients, consumers and the planet. She has worked with many global retailers and household brands on projects spanning sustainability and innovation to supply chain optimization. With a real passion for sustainability, her quest is to educate, influence and drive a circular economy wherever possible while complementing creativity, technical functionality and commercial realities.

Gill grew up on a tiny island in Scotland and this is where her passion for sustainability started. She loves nothing more than (trying) to grow her own veg and exploring nature with her son.