Packaging Digest is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

PACK EXPO Las Vegas: Greatest show in town

Move over Celine Dion and Cirque Du Soleil. Las Vegas welcomes another hot show this year.

PMMI, producers of the PACK EXPO shows, reported that PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011 was outpacing the 2009 Las Vegas show in every category as early as two months before the show floor was set to open. The show, which has been expanded to deliver a more comprehensive packaging and processing trade show experience, is expected to host more than 1,600 exhibitors across 600,000 sq ft of exhibit space at the Las Vegas Convention Center Sept. 26-28, 2011.

"We're excited about the way PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011 is shaping up," says PMMI president/CEO Charles Yuska. "The Las Vegas show has grown considerably over the past 15-plus years, and now it has more to offer than ever. This year, we're presenting a number of special features, many of them brand new."

The event gives packaging professionals the opportunity to connect with more than 25,000 colleagues, at what the show producer says is the largest packaging and processing trade show in North America this year.

To help you take it all in, we've organized the features here:


Focused areas of the show floor save interested parties time (and shoe leather) by creating neighborhoods where everything you need is around the corner.

• The Processing Zone—Visitors will find innovative processing solutions for the food industry in this dedicated space which will house more than 200 booths. Plus, one out of five PACK EXPO exhibitors on the general show floor will also display processing solutions. That means hundreds of ideas for total system solutions.

• Reusable Packaging Pavilion—The Reusable Packaging Assn. ( is hosting a larger and more comprehensive Reusable Packaging Pavilion this year. The 5,000-sq-ft pavilion will include a record 22 suppliers of services and solutions for reusable packaging. 

• The Brand Zone—The Brand Zone is dedicated to materials and containers that shape winning brands. The sold-out space will feature more than 150 exhibitors across 50,000 sq ft. Visitors will see examples of the diversity and ingenuity of well-designed packaging.

• Confectionery Pavilion—Following a successful debut in 2010, and with support from the National Confectioners Assn. (, the Confectionery Pavilion expands to more than 15,000-sq-ft for this year's show. Located in the Upper South Hall, this special area will be a hub for technologies that help confectionery brands achieve higher productivity and greater energy efficiency.

• Pharmaceutical Pavilion—This focused exhibit area will serve visitors from North America's multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry with more than 1,200 exhibitors in close to 600,000 sq ft. 

• Education Pavilion—Located in the Central hall, the Education Pavilion will be home to 16 technical schools, colleges and universities with two- or four-year packaging education programs. Staff from B&R Industrial Automation (, the exclusive sponsor of the Education Pavilion, will be there to talk with students, recent graduates, educators and hiring managers about opportunities in mechanical, electrical, computer science and mechatronics engineering.


For those times when you need a rest from walking, chairs await at these market-specific break areas:

• The Candy Bar Lounge—Confectionery visitors will have an oasis in the desert with the introduction of The Candy Bar lounge, located in Booth S-7000, within the Confectionery Pavilion in the Upper South Hall. Here they can converge for targeted networking, as well as to access resources within their market niche.

Endorsed by the National Confectioners Assn., The Candy Bar will include an "Ask the Expert" resource center, where attendees can discuss specific challenges with leading authorities.

• The Baking and Snack Break Lounge—Developed in partnership with the Snack Food Assn. (, this lounge gives baking and snack professionals a place to connect with suppliers and partners, for even faster access to the solutions they seek. 

The lounge will house an "Ask the Expert" resource center staffed by SFA, where attendees can receive guidance from experts in the baking and snack industry on specific packaging- and processing-related challenges. 

A special reception hosted by PACK EXPO and SFA will be held in The Baking and Snack Break lounge on Monday afternoon, Sept. 26, to offer an additional opportunity for attendees to network with peers during the show. 

• The Rx Lounge—Like its sister lounges, this one is a dedicated location on the show floor where pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers can network with peers and talk with suppliers. It, too, will include an "Ask the Expert" feature, where attendees can seek advice from industry experts.


Education and inspiration remain key aspects of this industry get-together.

• Leadership Lecture—Former Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell will keynote the inaugural PACK EXPO Leadership Lecture on Tues., Sept. 27, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. General Powell's address is titled "Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust & Values."

Registered show attendees can purchase tickets for the PACK EXPO Leadership Lecture at Single tickets are $125 or packages of 10 tickets are available for $1,000. Reception starts at 3:30 p.m.; presentation is at 4:30 p.m.

• Conference at PACK EXPO—PMMI has partnered with leading industry groups to develop various sessions, which run concurrently with the show. The following organizations are providing content: Alliance for Innovation & Operational Excellence (AIOE), CPP Expo (Converting & Package Printing), Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), Intl. Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) and Reusable Packaging Assn. (RPA). Conference sessions cover a range of hot topics and areas of interest, with presentations given by industry experts. See the full list in this issue on p.18 and 20, along with times, speakers and locations.


What makes these events so special? They're unlike anything else going on.

• Packaging Hall of Fame—Five industry leaders have been named to PMMI's Packaging Hall of Fame, Class of 2011: Victor Del Rosso, Hi-Speed Checkweigher (retired); Lawrence Dull, MS, CPP, Packaging Knowledge Group; Arthur Gustafson, Algus Packaging; Thomas Schneider, CPP, Industrial & Shippers Supply; and M.H. "Pete" Wallace, SWF Machinery (retired).

A special reception and induction ceremony will be held on Monday, Sept. 26, at 4:15 p.m., at the Las Vegas Hilton, which is adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Tickets are available for $75 each, and table sponsorships range from $1,500 to $3,000. Proceeds from the reception benefit the Packaging Education & Training Foundation. Purchase tickets and/or sponsorships at

• Clemson's Future of Retailing—A new interactive feature, the Consumer Retail Experience, will demonstrate how package design influences consumer buying decisions at the point of purchase. Created by Clemson University ( and sponsored by Kodak (, it will be located in the Upper South Hall. 

Using digital eye tracking technology, students from Clemson University will track what participants look at or were persuaded by as they walk through a simulated retail environment against what they purchase. There is no cost and participants will receive a personalized report detailing their own shopping experience.

• Amazing Packaging Race—PMMI is warming up for the second edition of The Amazing Packaging Race, taking place on Sept. 28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The fun, educational event for packaging students is conducted by PMMI's educational arm, PMMI U, and is sponsored by ASCO Numatics ( Students will get a head start in their packaging careers by racing through the show floor to meet as many exhibitors as possible, learn about the types of technologies offered and earn points for various tasks they accomplish at each booth. The team with the most points at the end of the competition wins.

• Student Packaging Solutions Contest—This year's challenge centers on powder-filling equipment and is sponsored by B&R Automation. Students are tasked with the job of finding a packaging solution that minimizes product giveaway and powder contamination of the outside of the pack for a fictional contract packager filling corn starch into rigid plastic packages. Students will present their findings on Sept. 27 at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, and winners will be announced at 3:00 p.m. that day at the B&R booth (S-5111). PMMI's Packaging Education & Training Foundation will provide scholarships to the winning teams.

• Showcase of Packaging Innovations—Sponsored by Dow Chemical Co. (, the Showcase of Packaging Innovations (within The Brand Zone) will display about 300 award-winning packages from around the world that are bound to inspire new ideas and applications.

• The 6th Annual Pack Expo Selects competition—The PACK EXPO Selects awards recognize innovation in commercial packages that have been developed, produced or executed by PACK EXPO exhibitors and incorporate some remarkable design or manufacturing feature.


PACK EXPO Selects entries are reviewed by a panel of industry peers and narrowed down to 10 finalists. Show attendees get to vote for their favorite and determine the most innovative packaging of the year.

• Package of the Future design competition—A special feature of The Brand Zone, "Project 2020-The Consumer Experience" invited people in the package design and development community to submit their vision for what consumers may see on retail shelves in the year 2020. A panel of judges selected the 10 most creative concepts and these will be featured in The Brand Zone. Project 2020 is hosted by EskoArtwork ( 

• Material ConneXion—A global leader in materials solutions, Material ConneXion ( will bring its dynamic, interactive materials display to The Brand Zone. The exhibit will introduce new ideas and demonstrate the essential link between material innovation and design. The primary focus will be material innovations for the packaging industry, but will also offer ideas for cross-industry pollination by highlighting materials from all areas of design.

• The Innovation Stage—Composed of a series of live seminars, the Innovation Stage program will be conveniently located on the show floor inside three industry-specific lounges: The Baking and Snack Break, The Candy Bar and The Rx Lounge. Three 30-minute live seminars will be held in each lounge on Mon., Sept. 26, and Tues., Sept. 27, at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. each day. Admission is free and no pre-registration is required to attend. Just show up!

• Fundraising Golf Tournament—The 2011 PMMI Education & Training Foundation Golf Tournament will be held on Sun., Sept. 25, the day before PACK EXPO Las Vegas begins, at the Paiute Golf Resort. The goal is to raise $35,000 for scholarships and grants for packaging education and training programs. Sign up at


PMMI augments the PACK EXPO show by welcoming ancillary events that relate to the packaging industry.

• AIM Expo—The automatic identification (ID) and mobile information technology (IT) annual industry showcase, the co-located AIM Expo ( centers on technology solutions for bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), real-time location/locating systems (RTLS) and mobile computing. Exhibitors will be ready to help visitors ensure compliance with upcoming requirements and gain answers to tough business problems.

• Beverage conference—As part of the Conference at PACK EXPO, the Intl. Society of Beverage Technologists ( will present sessions focused on beverage processing and packaging: Introduction to Beverage Packaging; Stress Crack Prevention; Introduction to Beverage Processing.

• CPP Expo—Packaging converters serving a variety of markets will find material and manufacturing solutions designed to give them an edge in business at the co-located CPP Expo ( 

• Food Safety Summit Resource Center—In Booth S-6635 of The Processing Zone (Upper South Hall), attendees can learn about the latest breakthroughs and solutions for specific food safety challenges. You can schedule one-on-one meetings with subject-matter experts at the Resource Center to discuss Plant Hygiene & Sanitation; Safety Regulations; Use of Automated Inspection Equipment; and more.


These are just the highlights. For more information about any feature of PACK EXPO Las Vegas-or to register-visit or contact PMMI's show department at 703-243-8555 or [email protected].

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.