The show, which closed yesterday, Sept. 28, was "a ringing success," according to show owner/organizer PMMI.
"Record-breaking only begins to describe it" boasts the headline on packexpo.com. It was the largest PACK EXPO Las Vegas show ever in terms of attendees, exhibitors and floor space:
• A record crowd of 25,000+ professionals attending.
• 23,000 people pre-registered, a 14 percent increase over 2009.
• 1,633 companies exhibiting.
• A 630,000+ sq-ft show floor.
The business activity and excitement at the show bodes well for the near economic future of the industry. Jorge Izquierdo, PMMI's vp market development, in an interview with FoodProductionDaily.com reported good numbers for machinery sales in the first and second quarters of 2011. And, although, PMMI expects growth to slow in third and fourth quarters, "I can tell you that 2011 will be a record year for packaging machinery," Izquierdo told reporter Rory Harrington.
Many exhibitors that I talked with were equally optimistic. Brian Barr, sales manager-packaging systems at Heat and Control, said many visitors that he had talked with were working on active, funded projects.
The buzz about the show was felt by attendees, too, based on the quotes PMMI has posted on the packexpo.com homepage:
"I'm very impressed by how well-organized PACK EXPO is and how great it is to have so many big and small players at the same show. This is definitely a 'must be at' show." Global technical procurement manager, Nestle
"We generally come to PACK EXPO looking for innovations in package design. For us, as package designers, the introduction of Project 2020 is an added bonus." Packaging engineer, Hershey's
"We were glad to come to PACK EXPO this year, particularly with the conference programs that focused on sustainability and food safety trends. We always have a big turnout of about 100 people coming to walk the show floor." Plant manager, Kraft
"I found The Brand Zone to be the most innovative part of PACK EXPO. It has been very helpful in learning about innovations as we look to expand our own products." Packaging engineer with Johnson & Johnson
"The new technology at this year's show is amazing, especially in robotics." President, Black Bear Bottling Group
"At first the scale of the show was a bit overwhelming, but everything is wonderfully organized and laid out." Owner, Rice Select Texmati