INDA, the association of the nonwoven fabrics industry, held its 14th annual World of Wipes (WOW) International Conference on August 25-27, 2020. Over 260 participants from 20 countries displayed their innovations virtually, through conference presentations, live Q&A, table-top display rooms, live chat, cocktail hours, afternoon tea, and coffee connections.

In its first all virtual format, WOW provided critical programme content addressing the latest wipe innovations and presentations from 30 industry leaders on issues, market trends, and statistical data to plan business strategies as well as a virtual three-day WIPES Academy training course, according to a press release by INDA.

Among the event highlights was the announcement of Food Fresh Liners from Berk International as the winner of this year’s WOW Innovation Award. Food Fresh Liners are the first nonwoven that can absorb accumulated moisture in sealed produce packaging to keep produce from wilting and spoiling, thus staying fresher for longer. The annual award recognises the product that best expands the use of nonwovens and demonstrates creativity, novelty, uniqueness, and technical sophistication within the entire nonwovens wipes value chain.

Virtual WOW attracted 24 virtual table-top displays to connect and create meaningful relationships throughout the entire wipes supply chain. Programme sessions included shifting trade and market data, government updates/industry statistics, emerging consumer wants, panel discussions, industrial wipes, and challenges of plastics in wipes.

A sampling of featured speakers included Pete Mentor, managing director, practice leader at Crowe, John Layman, section head – corporate R&D at Procter & Gamble, Geoff Collins, director at Jacob Holm, Abby Prasad, senior scientist, international paper, and Piyush Thakre, research scientist at Dow, Linda Homan, clinical affairs manager at Ecolab and Patti Costello, executive director, association for the healthcare environment, and Claude Wei, contract manager at TÜV Austria Belgium, among others.

“We are reinventing our approach to conferences to meet the connection and content needs of our industry participants, as well as the social distancing and hygiene needs of the current COVID-19 situation we are in. At WOW, we were encouraged by our attendees’ ability to adapt to the new technology platform and variety of modes we put forward to creatively interact,” Dave Rousse, INDA president said.