Yolanda Simonsis is a 38-year veteran of the packaging and converting industries. She has held past editorial positions with two former publications of Delta Communications and Cahners...more

IT's Tissue: An Exclusive & Emotional Experience

CHICAGO, IL | On October 10th I was invited to attend a "unique event highlighting the Italian paper industry" in honor of IT's Tissue, held at the Italian Cultural Center on posh Michigan Avenue. I anticipated the standard press conference format for journalists in the field. Not so!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., international trade and promotion manager for Luccapromos s.c.r.l., Lucca, Italy, launched the event with a brief self introduction, then she quickly identified for the roomful of approximately 30 attendees the reason for our presence. Then contrary to the norm (and quite effectively), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., IT's Tissue executive coordinator, described IT's Tissue by saying what it is not. "IT's Tissue is not a trade show, a festival, or a conference!"

Ms. Cicchinè captured my full attention.

Now I was inspired to scan the tastefully decorated (as only Italians can do) room as well as its guests. Not only did I not recognize anyone with whom I have previously rubbed elbows in the past for such industrial trade events, I noticed the attendees were definitely a notch above (no offense intended to my fellow converting industry cohorts) your standard journalist fare. If there was another journalist in the room, surely they must have reported for the likes of Dolce Vita, Elle, Vogue, or Harper's Bazaar.

So what is It's Tissue if it's not a trade show, festival, or conference? A good place to start is by acknowledging that the first of its kind event was held this past June 22nd to 30th in none other than the region of Tuscany, specifically Lucca, Italy. This is the "region where the Italian paper industry developed and is, still today, home to many paper manufacturers and suppliers," explained my invitation to the It's Tissue World Tour press event. Coincidentally, similar events were being held throughout the world (besides Chicago, IL) during the month of October, including the likes of São Paulo, Brazil; Toronto, ON, Canada; Tokyo, Japan; Bejing, China; Chankyapuri, New Delhi, India; Istanbul, Turkey; and St. Petersburg, Russia.

The next speaker, Maurizio Vanni, project manager and marketing originator of IT's Tissue, presented an artistic explanation of what can best be described as an Italian Technology Experience. Mr. Vanni very simply expressed, IT's Tissue is an "emotional experience."

Now, I very willingly allowed Mr. Vanni to take my attention prisoner—lock, stock and barrel.

The first edition of IT's Tissue involved participating sponsors playing host to 700 invited guests from 317 companies in 70 countries. Each guest was "approved," and each guest paid his/her own expenses for transportation and lodging, with special events hosted by sponsors. This year's event was so successful plans are now in the works for a repeat performance in 2015 involving the following12 sponsoring companies:

Special events separate IT's Tissue from any other event you likely ever have attended. This event is an extravaganza. As Mr. Vanni detailed, IT's Tissue combines technology, Italian culture, and tourism to play a strategic role in serving an economic function. As with the first show, open houses will allow participants to witness innovative production in progress. Guests will have a choice among excellent Tuscan hotels, inns, and B&Bs where they can rest their weary heads. An exclusive cultural experience will be provided that includes art, music concerts, and additional Italian cultural programs complemented by Tuscan cuisine.

Visit: Here's one evocative experience you do not want to miss. You can only hope you're on the guest list!

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