October 24, 2018

PACK EXPO draws 45,000-plus attendees, 450-plus new exhibitors

Closing out another year of record-breaking events 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 more than 1.25 million net square feet at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Show owner and producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, reported 457 new exhibitors this year, which is no surprise as the show opened its doors amidst forecasts of growth in the packaging industry, based on PMMI’s State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery Report.

“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,” said Jim Pittas, CEO, PMMI. “We are committed to adding value by constantly improving our show offerings to assist in driving the packaging industry into the future.”

Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2018 continued its steady growth with representatives from each of the top 25 pharma companies by global sales finding solutions among 250 healthcare suppliers from the pharmaceutical, biopharma, nutraceutical and medical device industries.

A 10-plus-year exhibitor at PACK EXPO, Scott Smith, vice president, global business development and strategic marketing for Barry Wehmiller positioned PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2018 as one of the best in his recent memory. “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,” said Smith. “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.”

The buzz on the show floor also confirmed that exhibitors and attendees from companies of all sizes found a rewarding, and some claim unparalleled, experience at the four-day event.

“This was one of the busiest PACK EXPOs I can remember,” said Timm Johnson, VP sales and marketing at Spee-Dee. “A number of good projects came in, traffic was steady and at one point, traffic by our booth was so heavy, everyone was at a standstill in the aisle.”

While returning show favorites such as the Innovation Stages addressed hot industry topics and provided a wealth of insights, The Forum made its PACK EXPO International debut with 15 interactive sessions over the four days.

Jake Lunow, packaging engineer at Spectrum Brands, found great value in the on-floor educational opportunities.

“I was looking for the latest e-commerce packaging ideas and technologies,” says Lunow. “The Innovation Stage presentation on e-commerce is what really drew me to the show.”

The Insider Advantage (IA) program also saw a record number of participants with over 1,500 registered attendees from 23 packaged goods companies reaping the benefits of free private meeting rooms, customized trends presentations, PMMI’s latest business initiatives and OpX Leadership Network.

Next up in the PACK EXPO portfolio is ProFood Tech (March 26-28, 2019; McCormick Place, Chicago). Powered by PACK EXPO, Anuga and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), ProFood Tech is the premier food and beverage processing event in North America. This biennial event will bring together 7,000 professionals from nearly every food and beverage sector to explore the latest processing innovations and technologies from 450 suppliers. Information and registration for the upcoming show can be found at profoodtech.com.


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