Discover inspiration at this year’s mega-show

By Kari Embree in Packaging Education and Training on August 13, 2014

There’s something for everyone at this year’s Pack Expo International, where ideas and solutions cross over from one industry to another.

Experience community, collaboration, learnings and laughs with tens of thousands of your peers at Pack Expo International 2014. The show is back in Chicago this year (McCormick Place; Nov. 2-5), where it will be co-located with the new Pharma Expo.

The event is expecting to welcome 50,000 packaging and processing professionals, and most will consist of brand owners from consumer package goods and other markets. Also, PMMI, owner and producer of Pack Expo International 2014, predicts more than 2,000 exhibitors will display their latest products and services in 1.1 million net sq ft of exhibit space.


As part of the Pack Expo Partner Program (PEPP), which is designed to strengthen industry connections, PMMI is opening its doors to more than 30 processing and packaging associations from nine different countries. They will be located in the Association Pavilion on the Grand Concourse at the North Hall entrance.

The co-location of Pharma Expo strengthens the potential connections even further, according to Jim Pittas, vp, trade shows, PMMI.

“The Pack Expo trade shows are about bringing the industry together—the entire packaging and processing supply chain—to spur innovation. With 50,000 attendees expected at Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo, Pack Expo partners will enjoy the opportunity to network with packaging and processing professionals and other like-minded associations,” Pittas says.

Pitta adds that PEPP is a clear example of how the packaging and processing communities come together at the Pack Expo shows. PMMI knows the value of association partnerships to furthering industries and missions. The partnership program opens the door to building and strengthening those partnerships.


Presented by PMMI and the Contract Packaging Association (CPA), the new Contract Packaging Association Sourcing Center will showcase the capabilities of contract packagers. It will be located on the Grand Concourse adjacent to the Association Pavilion.

“In addition to the CPA members who will exhibit there, the Contract Packaging Association Sourcing Center will feature a display of innovative packages alongside experts who can speak to the benefits of using contract packagers,” says Charles Yuska, president/CEO, PMMI. “It will be a tremendous resource for both Pack Expo and Pharma Expo attendees.”

“The opportunity to collaborate with PMMI is very exciting. Pack Expo consistently attracts top-level brands and buyers, and they are the target market for our messages about the role contract packagers can play,” says CPA president Chris Nutley, who is also president of MSW Packaging. “This gives us a chance to present a full spectrum of contract packaging solutions and knowledge at the most comprehensive packaging and processing trade show in North America this year.”


Education has always been a strong component of Pack Expo, for pupils in all stages of their careers. This year, a number of activities are scheduled:

• PACK Solutions Challenge is a student contest that has colleges and universities compete against one another in creating a packaging solution to a complex problem. A panel of industry professionals will judge the popular contest.

• First Robotics brings togetherseveral Chicago-area high schools that bring the robots they’ve built and demonstrate how each works. At Pack Expo Las Vegas 2013, one team’s robot threw Frisbees and then retrieved them. Attendees get to watch these exciting demonstrations and ask questions of the students and their instructors.

• Clemson University Packaging Emporium is back due topopular demand with its fascinating and revealing biometric technology in a special exhibit, the Clemson University's CUshop. Make sure to get the opportunity to try out their eye-tracking technology, virtual reality and packaging insights testing while you’re there. During a walk-thru in a simulated store, the technology will aggregate participant data to determine the impact of packaging on attention.

• Education Pavilion unites students and professors from colleges and technical schools with packaging programs as they come to Pack Expo to talk about their classes and career ambitions with one another and walk the show floor to learn from exhibitors and attendees. Many of these students participate in the Amazing Packaging Race and PACK Solutions Challenge.


Making its debut for the first time in Chicago, the 2014 PACK gives BACK charity event will be presented by Jay Leno—Live! Kick back and unwind with some drinks and hors d’oeuvres and enjoy some good laughs while benefiting a great cause. A portion of ticket proceeds will support K9s for Warriors, an organization dedicated to providing service dogs to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress as a result of conflicts and war following 9/11. PACK gives BACK will be held Nov. 3, in the Grand Ballroom (S-100) of the South Building of McCormick Place. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and Leno will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 each, and only available to Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo 2014 registrants. Tickets are on sale at


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