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PACK EXPO throws line to packagers seeking recovery

Everyone, it seems, is looking for a barometer to tell them the recession is ending. For many, the health of a major industry tradeshow may be a leading indicator.



With PACK EXPO Las Vegas just around the corner, I'm hearing a lot of questions among packagers: Is your company exhibiting? Are you going? How many people is your company taking? What are the hot, new products?

It's said that if a company is not growing, it is dying. Right now, even the best businesses are hard-pressed to grow. However, insightful owners and managers are still planning and seeking innovations that will drive growth as the economy recovers. That's why it is important to keep abreast of packaging developments exhibited at a show such as PACK EXPO.

Victor Calderon, an engineer at Ghirardelli Chocolate Co., has already registered. He says: “PACK EXPO is the best place for us to find the innovations we need to meet our business goals. This year, our focus is running lean—we are sure to find the latest generation of equipment that can help us increase our efficiency and our output with the least downtime. The show is also a great opportunity to tap into industry trends.”

Chuck Yuska, president and CEO of the Packaging Machinery Mfrs. Institute (PMMI), the sponsoring association for PACK EXPO, recently chatted with me about the show's prospects. Yuska offered a frank assessment that while 2009's attendance may dip below the 2007 show in Las Vegas, things are looking up. Suddenly, he says, a number of exhibitors are seeking booth space, and are hoping to capitalize on the improving conditions.

Branding is a big deal at the show, Yuska says, confirming that space for The Brand Zone has sold out. He says this previously was called the Materials and Container Pavilion, but PMMI research showing that the pavilion's likely visitors are concerned about how the materials might help build a brand, prompted the change to emphasize branding.

Yuska says his organization is working harder than ever to add value to the event so that everyone in the industry can maximize their time at the show. Several industry groups, such as the International Bottled Water Association and the Reusable Packaging Association will have their annual meetings in Las Vegas at the same time as PACK EXPO.

If you're looking to build the future of your packaging business, I hope to see you at PACK EXPO next month.

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