Identifying emerging trends in packaging and manufacturing can help you stay ahead of your competition. One of the best ways to spot these trends is by attending major industry events, where you can see firsthand the new products and technologies that address and/or solve today’s critical issues, as well as network with hot-topic experts.
The first major industry event in 2016 is WestPack (Feb. 9-11; Anaheim, CA). Over the course of the 3-day event, more than 21,000 packaging and manufacturing professionals are expected to visit southern California to see more than 2,000 exhibitors at WestPack and its co-located automation and manufacturing shows: MD&M West, ATX West, Plastec West, Electronics West and Pacific Design & Manufacturing.
Hayley Haggarty, event manager, Advanced Manufacturing Events, gives us a glimpse into what you can encounter at the largest advanced manufacturing event in North America.
What are some of the exciting new experiences in store for attendees at WestPack 2016?
Haggarty: There will be hundreds of innovative packaging companies demonstrating cutting-edge packaging materials, labeling, machinery and automation. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new in flexible packaging, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and blister packaging.
It’s a great event for creating ideas through open innovation—all industries are represented from medical to food and beverage. There are also complimentary presentations taking place on Center Stage, including interactive case studies on developing the latest and greatest packaging technology and must-know manufacturing trends.
What is the value of the other co-located manufacturing events?
Haggarty: Having events that cater to the packaging, medical, automation, plastics and electronics industries under one roof really brings together all the pieces that make up the design-to-manufacturing production cycle. The event is the high-tech IKEA of the advanced manufacturing world! It’s a place where you can demo the latest technologies and find thousands of relevant design and manufacturing exhibitors and suppliers to help push your product to the next level.
What kind of feedback have attendees shared about the Speed Networking events? They seem to be pretty popular.
Haggarty: Speed Networking has received fantastic feedback. When attendees sign up for this networking activity, they are matched by their demo questions to other relevant peers, buyers and suppliers. It’s a fantastic way to be matched up with potential clients to discuss new business prospects, similar challenges and new opportunities in a formal face-to-face meet-up.
How is the Booth Crawl different from the Innovation Tours?
Haggarty: The Booth Crawl will be taking place the first day of the event, Feb. 9, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. A group of exhibitors will participate, providing beverages and snacks so the attendees can make their way around the expo show floor, getting the chance to relax and informally network with the exhibitors and other attendees.
The Innovation Tours are organized by an industry expert who will take the group to relevant exhibitors covering certain industry hot topics like 3D printing.
How many exhibitors will be participating in the Booth Crawl? Are attendees required to visit them all?
Haggarty: We are getting inundated with exhibitors wanting to join in! I don’t think it is humanly possible to visit more than 20 booths in 60 minutes but I’m sure some of our attendees will try!
One of the bonus features this year is a free Kindle Fire tablet for those purchasing a 3-day All Access conference pass, with the presentations conveniently pre-loaded on the device. Is there a limit on how many we will give away or it is really for anyone buying a 3-day All Access pass?
Haggarty: There is no limit on the number of Kindle Fire Tablets we will be giving out. It’s just an added benefit of signing up for the 3-day pass. It’s great value as we have four conference tracks taking place on Day 1 and Day 2 of the event, and two conference tracks on Day 3. If you sign up before Jan. 15 for the 3-day All Access Pass, you will save $700.
Another bonus is a chance to win a pair of round trip semi-private jet tickets from Surf Air. What do visitors have to do to sign up for this?
Haggarty: All they have to do is visit the Audience Lounge and give one of our representative’s their business card and we will announce the winner on Thurs., Feb. 11.