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Innovation Takes center Stage At PACK EXPO International 2010

New show features include processing, Project 2020 and education partnerships

Brand owners and packaging and processing professionals gathered in Chicago last week for PACK EXPO International 2010, the most comprehensive packaging and processing trade show in the world this year.

Preliminary results show the four-day event, Oct. 31–Nov. 3, spanned more than 1 million net square feet in McCormick Place, and attracted over 44,000 attendees and 1,835 exhibiting companies — 132 (7 percent) more than the 2008 edition.

Vista aérea de una parte del pabellón Sur

However, says Charles D. Yuska, president & CEO of PACK EXPO producer PMMI, the truest measure of trade show success is the degree to which attendees and exhibitors believe participating has been a good use of time and resources. In Yuska’s eyes, the increase in exhibitors and the demand for exhibit space in Las Vegas next year point to a good start for 2011.

“PACK EXPO International 2010 was definitely a success,” says Yuska, president & CEO of PACK EXPO producer PMMI. “Traffic was consistently strong, and the exhibitors I spoke with were very pleased with the quality of leads they received. I think it’s also significant that exhibitors were queued up to reserve booth space for PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011. It demonstrates the value exhibitors were receiving from this year’s event, and what they know to expect from PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011.”

2008 2010
Attendees 43.803 44.294
Exhibitor Personnel* 23.849 20.351
Total Attendance 67.652 64.645
International Attendance 3.579 4.434
Number of Exhibiting Companies 1.703 1.835
Net Square Footage 1’084.301 1’054.505

*(includes CPP EXPO)

New Record for International Delegations
PACK EXPO International 2010 welcomed visitors from 125 countries and saw a 23.9 percent increase in international attendance over the 2008 show. That included a record 46 international delegations, representing 34 countries — a 155 percent jump in delegations, and a 26 percent increase in participating delegates.

“PACK EXPO is clearly playing a critical role in the world packaging and processing marketplace,” Yuska says.

The 1,935 Canadian visitors comprised the largest international contingent. After Canada, the five most-represented nations were Mexico, China, Japan, Colombia and Brazil — in that order.

Welcome to the New Show
PACK EXPO International 2010 launched the show’s expansion to include processing solutions alongside packaging.

“We mirror the industries we serve, and consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) see production as a single, continuous function,” says Yuska. He pointed out that roughly 20 percent of exhibitors — including the 179 exhibiting companies in the Processing Zone — showed their processing-related solutions.

Also new to Chicago, The Brand Zone put the focus on ideas and concepts driving packaging and package design by serving as home to three special PACK EXPO features:

* The Showcase of Packaging Innovations®, sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company, displayed award-winning packages from a record 19 organizations from around the world.

* The 10 finalists in the 5th Annual PACK EXPO Selects™ were on display, and voting was open. KOLD-TO-GO Thermal Insulated Pouches, submitted by Coldkeepers, LLC, took the top prize in this very tight race.

* To open attendees’ and exhibitors’ eyes to the best in today’s packaging communities — and to spark their thinking for the future — PACK EXPO introduced Project 2020: The Consumer Experience, sponsored by DuPont. Project 2020 explored packaging developments and concepts likely to occur over the next 10 years.

Project 2020’s Package of the Future competition asked the package design community to develop concepts likely to be in stores in 2020. Prototypes of concepts that made it to the finals were on display, and Bailey Brand Consulting’s “Soapstix” took the top prize.

Also in the Project 2020 area, consulting firm Iconoculture spoke with attendees informally and in structured presentations about augmented reality, and how it will affect marketing and packaging in the not-so-distant future.

“Project 2020 involved leaders from all facets of packaging. For example, Package of the Future judges included representatives from Package Design magazine, DuPont, the Packaging Design Department of the Fashion Institute of Technology, PMMI, PMT Magazine and ABI Marketing Public Relations,” Yuska notes.

He adds, “A great deal of help and support for the Brand Zone also came from ESKO Artwork, Iconoculture and Lippincott. We’re very appreciative of the roles everyone played in The Brand Zone and Project 2020.”
Partnerships Increase  the Value

“By partnering with organizations that matter to our attendees, we created new pavilions and educational opportunities that delivered value on and off the show floor,” Yuska says. “We had a strong contingent of partners who each brought an extra level of value to attendees in general, and their members and constituents in particular.”

* The Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) — AICC debuted its Corrugated & Packaging Solutions Showcase as a way to showcase members as well as promote the association. Additionally, AICC participated in the Responsible Packaging Booth found in the Association Pavilion.

* The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) — GMA’s inaugural Manufacturing Excellence Conference, co-located with PACK EXPO International, focused on the critical issues of operational reliability, product safety and sustainability.

* The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) —IoPP presented its Packaging Learning Center conference program with sessions focusing on a range of topics that are top of mind with packaging professionals, especially sustainability and food safety.

* National Confectioners Association (NCA)— The processing expansion also led to the debut of the Confectionery Pavilion at PACK EXPO, sponsored by the National Confectioners Association. This sold-out hub for confectionery-related suppliers provided the brand owners they serve with the processing and packaging equipment, materials and services necessary for excellence across the production line, faster product commercialization and growing sales.

* The NPTA Alliance (formerly the National Paper Trade Association) — The NPTA Alliance’s DistriPak Pavilion made its PACK EXPO International debut with a focus on trends affecting paper, packaging and supplies distribution — trends that impact the entire packaging and processing supply chain.

* PAC Green Den, “Fast Tracking Sustainable Innovation,” conducted by PAC — The Packaging Association, invited innovators to a half-day panel  to present their latest sustainability-supportive products to an audience of brand owners in a 15 minute format that combined formal presentations with challenges from a panel of judges. Audience members voted for their favor, and conducted private meetings with innovators.

* The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) — RPA introduced its Reusable Packaging Pavilion and hosted a series of educational sessions and workshops.

PACK EXPO returns to Las Vegas next fall, Sept. 26–28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and Yuska says to expect the same level of innovation — if not more.

“We’ve already announced our first new pavilion,” he points out. “The Pharmaceutical Pavilion will launch at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011. It’s just one of the many ways next year’s show will be an experience you can’t miss.”

About PMMI
PMMI is a trade association of 560-plus member companies that manufacture packaging, processing and related converting machinery in the United States or Canada; machinery components and packaging containers and materials. PMMI’s vision is to be the leading global resource for packaging, and its mission is to improve and promote members’ abilities to meet the needs of their customers.

PMMI organizes the PACK EXPO trade shows: PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and EXPO PACK México, connecting participants in the packaging and processing supply chain with their customers around the world. Coming Up: EXPO PACK México at Mexico City’s Centro Banamex, June 21–24, 2011, and PACK EXPO Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center Sept. 26–28, 2011.

Learn more about PMMI and the PACK EXPO trade shows at PMMI.org and Packexpo.com.