Packaging edutainment in Anaheim this February is not quite like the heart-pounding thrill rides at Disneyland. But for packaging geeks, it’s da bomb.

Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

January 25, 2023

6 Min Read
Image courtesy of d1sk / Getty Images

Work hard. Play hard. It’s a work/life balance strategy that invigorates the mind and relaxes the soul.

It’s also the premise of The Pack Place, a new experience at WestPack 2023 sponsored by Packaging Digest. Taking place February 7-9 in Anaheim, Calif., WestPack is one of five co-located events making up Informa Markets Engineering West, the largest annual advanced manufacturing event in the US. This five-in-one design and manufacturing event connects you across multiple verticals and industries. In addition to WestPack, IME West is also home to MD&M West, ATX West, D&M West, and Plastec West.

“WestPack 2023 will offer more to attendees than ever before,” says Adrienne Zepeda, Group Event Director. “The packaging industry is experiencing unique challenges around sustainability, materials, and automation. WestPack is the place where design and packaging engineers can find the technical information and advice they need to move their businesses forward.”

WestPack attendees are able to sample the myriad happenings throughout the IME West event. However, there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss: Educational and entertaining, The Pack Place is a hub for packaging professionals to work and play at the show. Register for free today to attend The Pack Place, WestPack, and IME West.


Targeted topics meet your needs.

The Pack Place is located on the WestPack show floor at the end of aisle 5200. It offers different themed content each day. The agenda (see full details below) is focused on the three main markets for packaging:

• Medical device and healthcare topics on Tuesday, February 7
• The CannPack Cannabis Packaging Conference on Wednesday, February 8
• Food and beverage packaging topics on Thursday, February 9

As you can see below, our subject matter experts will present hot topics such as packaging sustainability, sterile packaging, child-resistant packaging for the cannabis industry, regulations, and design innovation.

In addition to the formal presentations, we also give you a chance to unwind after a hard day’s work. Attendees are invited to The Pack Place at the end of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday for networking receptions. Taking place from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. both days, you can relax with a cold drink and meet with packaging peers to catch up and discuss the topics presented during the day or share great ideas for a fun evening in the area.



Extensive sessions leverage subject matter experts.

Valuable and free, The Pack Place educational sessions address your day-to-day challenges and provide ideas and access to experts to help you set your growth strategy.

WestPack registered attendees simply show up to The Pack Place to attend any of these free sessions. Again, you can find The Pack Place theater at the end of aisle 5200.


Tuesday, Feb 7 — Medical Packaging

10:30 - 11:15 a.m.
“Sustainable Packaging Trend Radar”
Speaker: Rebecca Marciniak, Partner, Roland Berger

11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
“Changing the Direction of the Medical Device Packaging Industry — One Person at a Time”
Moderator: Jenn Goff, Global Director, Product Strategy, Oliver Healthcare Packaging
Speakers: Jennifer Benolken, Medical Device & Regulatory Package Engineering Specialist at DuPont;
Henk Blom, VP of Research and Technology at Paxxus;
Kiley Djupstrom, Sustainability and End-of-Life Co-Program Manager at KiiP (Kilmer Innovations in Packaging);
Malinda Elammari, Clinical Education Specialist at Healthmark Industries Co.;
Sarah Rosenblum, Senior Director of Sales & Marketing at Packaging Compliance Labs

12:30 - 1:15 p.m.
“Performance of Thermal Shipping Systems Following Distribution”
Speakers: Eric Cardiel, Test Engineer II at Westpak, and Edmund Tang, Director of Packaging (and Lab Manager) at San Jose State University (and Westpak)

1:30 - 2:15 p.m.
“Exploring Aseptic Presentation and Usability Assessments Through KiiP and ASTM” (Live Tech Talk from the Medical Device Packaging Technical Committee of the Institute of Packaging Professionals)
Moderator: Seema Momin, Global Account Manager at Paxxus
Speakers: Dhuanne Dodrill, CEO, Paxxus;
Malinda Elammari, Clinical Education Specialist at Healthmark Industries Co.;
Sarah Rosenblum, Senior Director of Sales & Marketing at Packaging Compliance Labs
Arti Roth, Edwards Lifesciences

2:30 - 3:15 p.m.
“SterileAware: A Company or a Cause - The future of Medical Device Packaging”
Speaker: Charlie Webb, CEO, Van der Stähl Scientific Inc.


Wednesday, Feb 8 — Cannabis Packaging

10:30 - 11:15 a.m.
“Trends and Opportunities in the Cannabis Vertical”
Speaker: Kary Radestock, CEO, Hippo Premium Packaging

11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
“Variable Labels - (Industrial printers vs. direct print)”
Speaker: Kathy Reeder, Market Development Specialist, Hub Labels

12:30 - 1:15 p.m.
“Sustainable Cannabis Packaging: A Greener Weed Wrap-Up”
Speaker: Lilli Keinaenen, Founder, Changemaker Creative

1:30 - 2:15 p.m.
“The State of the Cannabis Industry from Coast to Coast”
Speaker: Khurshid Khoja, Principle, Greenbridge Corporate Counsel;
Aaron Smith, Co-Founder & CEO, National Cannabis Industry Association

2:30 - 3:15 p.m.
“Child-Resistant Packaging & Sustainability: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint While Remaining Compliant”
Speaker: Cole Gibbs, Founder/CEO, Dama Distributing

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
“Update on FDA Regulation of Cannabis-Based Ingredients and CBD”
Speaker: Frederick Stearns, Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP


Thursday, Feb 9 — Food & Beverage Packaging

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
“4 Zesty Trends in Food & Beverage Packaging”
Speaker: Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
“Inspection Technology”
Speaker: Michael Ahern, National Sales Manager, Anritsu

12:45 - 1:30 p.m.
“Coding & Marking Matters on Food & Beverage Packaging – Reasons & Options to Set Your Project Up for Success”
Speaker: Lori Raymond, President / CVO – Chief Visionary Officer, Tourmaline Enterprises

1:45 - 2:30 p.m.
“Proof of Concept Faster with Artificial Intelligence”
Speaker: Evelio Mattos, Creative Director of Packaging, Founder/Host, Package Design Unboxd

To gain all the educational and networking advantages of The Pack Place, WestPack, and IME West, register for free today.

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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