This year's event hails as the largest PACK EXPO to ever touch down in Las Vegas since the show's inception in 1995., there are mMore than 1,600 processing and packaging solutions exhibitors are registered for PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013 (Las Vegas Convention Center, Sept. 23-25). Attendance is expected to surpass 26,000 manufacturing professionals from the baking and snack, beverage, confectionery, pharmaceutical and other industries-a 10 percent rise over 2011 figures. In fact, in addition to adding acreage to the show floor previously, exhibit space had to just recently be increased just months before show time.
"Our exhibitor numbers are already up 15 percent, and the floor itself has expanded by 12 percent compared to the 2011 Las Vegas show," says Charles D. Yuska, president and /CEO of PMMI, the Association. for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the sponsor and producer of PACK EXPO Las Vegas.
Location is everything!
This year, PMMI is trying something new and making learning more accessible for attendees by bringing education to the show floor.
"We are trying a new approach to education at PACK EXPO this year. Instead of pulling attendees away from the exhibit halls to attend seminars, we're leaving the education on the show floor," says Kate Achelpohl, director of marketing communications, PMMI.
After PMMI conducted a "Voice of the Attendee" (VOA) in-depth study of PACK EXPO attendees, they found out that, although show goers value education, the location was critical to whether they took advantage of these learning opportunities.
"VOA made it clear that education is as important to attendees as exploring potential purchases, yet they see any time off the show floor as a drawback," says Jim Pittas, PMMI vp, trade shows. "They learn from the experiences they have in the exhibit halls, such as watching technicians operate equipment or break it down. In fact, those two examples are among the top takeaways mentioned during interviews."
Educational offerings include:
• Innovation Stage-More than 40 30-minute seminars about technologies, innovations and trends that are changing the marketplace for all industries, from the exhibitors who are leading the way. (Located in the Central Hall, Booths C-141, C-142 and C-143.)
• The Center for Trends & Technology-Sponsored by Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork Program Displays and education sessions centered on the theme "Improving Production through Innovation." Trends in the spotlight include network security, line integration, secure remote monitoring, cloud computing and manufacturing convergence-and staff will help visitors find the solutions in action on the show floor. (Located in the Central Hall Booth C-1358).
• The Food Safety Summit Resource Center-If you are seeking an expert on the Food Safety Modernization Act, count on finding one here. The center offers free presentations, information and one-on-one consultations that address critical food safety issues and compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Choose your selection from a variety of both short presentations and one-on-one conversations. (Located in the Upper South Hall, Booth S-7332.)
• Clemson University: Packaging Emporium Design for the Future-Sponsored by EskoArt: Clemson University makes its third trip back to PACK EXPO with another interactive experience to explore and reveal how package design affects consumers. The exhibit will use digital eye-tracking technology to track the elements driving attendees' "purchase decisions" in a retail environment. A presentation of their findings will be made after the show concludes. (Located in the Central Hall Booth C-151.)
• The Reusables Learning Center-The Reusable Packaging Assn. brings sessions that underscore the long-term cost-saving benefits of reusable packaging. Learn the innovative ways end-users and industry leaders are increasing sustainability by integrating reusable packaging into the supply chain. (Located in the Lower South Hall, Booth S-6458)
• Exhibitor education sessions-Throughout the show, visitors can tap into exhibitor expertise as exhibitors present educational sessions at their booths. PMMI's research also indicates many companies use PACK EXPO in their professional development efforts. For example, they may tie attendance to performance reviews, and they're also taking advantage of the show as a tool for improving cross-functional communication and collaboration.
Innovation takes the stage
Partnering up with PMMI on the Innovation Stage this year is Mintel (www.mintel.com), a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. The two organizations are working together to deliver a line-up of stimulating presentations crafted to shed light on trends that are driving consumer purchasing decisions and to also help brand managers, marketers and package designers learn more about new avenues to boost connections with shoppers and rev up brand sales.
"Innovation Stage at PACK EXPO Las Vegas is a place where attendees can gain an edge by seeing first-hand some of the newest products and technologies that will impact the market in the months and years ahead," says Yuska. "Because of our partnership with Mintel, PACK EXPO Las Vegas attendees will have access to expert knowledge on the latest trends that will affect consumer purchasing decisions, and ultimately- their business."
The presentations will be led by Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel's director of Innovation & Insight. Program line-up is:
Presentation 1: It's not easy being green-consumer perception on sustainable packaging Date/Time: Mon., Sept. 23; 11:00-11:30 a.m.
Location: Innovation Stage 1, Booth C-141
Presentation 2: Packaging for seniors-an untapped opportunity
Date/Time: Tues., Sept. 24; 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Location: Innovation Stage 2, Booth C-142
Presentation 3: Packaging for the connected consumer
Date/Time: Wed., Sept. 25; 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Location: Innovation Stage 2, Booth C142
"Our presentations will provide thought-provoking consumer insight that will spark great ideas for package designers to strengthen brands and grow market share," says Pete Giannakopoulos, president, CPG Americas/EMEA, Mintel. "Attendees can look forward to insights that will help them develop products that will position them a head above their competitors."
PACK gives back
If you find yourself in town prior to opening day, take some time out to have some fun and attend the PMMI Education & Training Foundation Golf Tournament (Sept. 22; Royal Links Golf Course, Las Vegas).
The tournament is the traditional kick-off event for PACK EXPO Las Vegas and a vital fundraiser for the PMMI Education & Training Foundation, which provides more than $100,000 in financial assistance to packaging students and programs at 4-year and 2-year schools, through three key areas of funding:
1. Academic scholarships, including those presented as prizes to the top three teams in the Student Packaging Solution Contest at PACK EXPO;
2. Travel scholarships for students and educators to attend PACK EXPO.
3. Tuition reimbursement for qualified member employee education.
Serving as the Gold Sponsor and the Luncheon Sponsor for the event is Morrison Container Handling Solutions (www.morrison-chs.com).
For more information surrounding PACK EXPO Las Vegas and all the exciting educational opportunities going on or to register, visit www.packexpo.com or contact PMMI's show department at 703-243-8555 or [email protected]. You can also download the PACK EXPO mobile app to keep show information at hand on your iPhone, on your iPad or Android device.