Closing out another year for the Pack Expo portfolio of trade shows, the largest ever Pack Expo International and co-located Healthcare Packaging Expo 2018 convened nearly 45,000 attendees with 2,500 exhibitors over 1.25 million net s.f. at McCormick Place in Chicago in mid-October.
Show owner and producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, reported 457 new exhibitors this year.
“The continued success of Pack Expo is a testament to not only our industry’s growth but PMMI’s commitment to offering a world-class environment for exhibitors to offer cutting-edge solutions to our attendees,” says Jim Pittas, CEO of PMMI. “We are committed to adding value by constantly improving our show offerings to assist in driving the packaging industry into the future.”
“I can’t remember a show with better quality clients who were very obviously at the show to engage and learn from exhibiting packaging equipment companies,” says Scott Smith, VP of global business development and strategic marketing for Barry Wehmiller and a 10-plus year exhibitor at Pack Expo. “As a testament to that, Barry Wehmiller had dozens of pre-scheduled meetings with customers this year, and the most impressive thing about that was that virtually all of them showed up for their meetings, despite the size of the show and the distraction of a great city. PMMI has built an environment that encourages engagement and learning, and it seems to get better every year.”
Many attendees came ready with projects in hand, looking for specific equipment solutions to satisfy their needs.
Harry Kurniawan is the financial controller at Verka Food International, and he attended the show looking for solutions for his food manufacturing and distributing company.
“We’re setting up a new plant and came to Pack Expo International to find an automated packaging machinery line,” says Kurniawan. “At the show, we were able to find two possible suppliers for each part of that new line, allowing us to weigh our options.”
The Expo offered returning show favorites like the Innovation Stages, but it also introduced The Forum, which made its Pack Expo debut with 15 interactive sessions over four days. Also new this year was CareerLink, a platform for PMMI member companies seeking entry-level and internship positions to connect with students looking to gain experience and employment in the packaging and processing industry.
The inaugural Technology Excellence Awards was another hit, says PMMI. Three days of on-site voting allowed Pack Expo and Healthcare Packaging Expo attendees to be the ultimate judge of the most innovative new technologies at the show. The winners included Triangle Package Machinery Co. (Baking and Snack), Volpak (Beverage and Dairy), Evolabel (General Packaging), Bemis Co. Inc. (Meat/Poultry/Seafood), Neopac The Tube (Personal Care/ Cosmetics), Bausch + Ströbel Machine Co. Inc. (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices) and Pearson Packaging Systems (Prepared Foods).
More than 550 industry professionals attended the Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network’s (PPWLN) breakfast event featuring a panel discussion moderated by Jane Chase, executive director, Institute of Packaging Professionals. The discussion included insights on empowering woman in the manufacturing workplace.
Next up in the Pack Expo portfolio is ProFood Tech (March 26-28, 2019, at McCormick Place). Powered by Pack Expo, Anuga and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), ProFood Tech is a food and beverage processing event.