WestPack 2021 (August 10-12; Anaheim, CA) was my first much-awaited return to an in-person industry event since the COVID-19 lockdowns started in March 2020. I saw a lot of twinkly eyes above masks, as well as full smiles on bare/uncovered faces. Many other people were seemingly just as glad to resume pre-pandemic business practices, albeit with safety precautions. I didn’t shake a lot of hands, opting more for the head nod/bow that I think I’ve perfected to show respect while keeping my physical distance.
What struck me and many others, though, was the energy from the people — visitors and exhibitors alike — and the enthusiasm for doing business, for getting projects moving.
Melissa Magestro, VP and Group Portfolio Leader for Informa Markets Engineering, the event organizer and owner of Packaging Digest, says, “What shone through at the live event was the bottled-up need for industry connection and deal-making, which we are thrilled to support with the introduction of West+. The virtual event will serve as a digital component that complements the in-person event and provides our community even more opportunity to network, learn, and grow their business.”
A sequel to the main event.
West+ follows the successful wrap of Informa Markets Engineering West, the largest advanced manufacturing event in the United States. Several established co-located shows come together at this event: WestPack, Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West, Automation Technology Expo (ATX) West, Plastec West, and Design & Manufacturing (D&M) West.
Magestro says, “Our event was the first large-scale trade show to return in-person to the nation’s leading economy state, connecting the advanced design and manufacturing community in-person for the first time in over eighteen months. It was remarkable to see such high caliber industry professionals and companies on the expo floor and in conference sessions engage in lively conversation for three days.”
Running from September 13 through October 13, West+ will build on that success with virtual education, exhibits, and networking:
• Education: Attend free educational sessions you may have missed onsite, including compelling keynotes. Topics include smart manufacturing, packaging sustainability, injection molding, 3D printing, and more. You can also sign up for paid technical conference sessions that dive deeper into new innovations and challenges in artificial intelligence, digital health, 3D printing, smart manufacturing, and more.
• Exhibits: Suppliers will showcase their latest technology and product demos directly to you.
• Networking: Grow your network and connect with potential business partners. Our matchmaking program, which is driven by artificial intelligence (AI), helps save you time in finding solutions you need.
Check out the extensive program and register for West+ at imewestplus.com.