Pack Expo: New programs, resources and free educational opportunities

Organizers are preparing for largest PACK EXPO ever. Since expanding exhibit space in late July, the show has added another 150 exhibitors.

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PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the owner and producer of PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Sept. 23-25, 2013; Las Vegas Convention Center), is gearing up for the largest show since the event opened in 1995.

As of September first, more than 1,750 processing and packaging solutions providers are on board to occupy over 700,000 net square feet. The show is also on track to play host to its largest audience of attendees. Attendance is expected to well exceed 26,000 manufacturing professionals from the baking and snack, beverage, confectionery, pharmaceutical and other industries - a 10% increase over 2011 numbers.

“Our exhibitor numbers are already up 15%, and the floor itself has expanded by 12% compared to the 2011 Las Vegas show,” said PMMI president and CEO Charles D. Yuska.

In fact, PMMI has added a third Innovation Stage to expand PACK EXPO’s on-floor educational programming, delivering even more insights to attendees looking to learn about ways to enhance sustainability, efficiency, automation and food safety measures.

In a recent Interview, Kate Achelpohl, PMMI’s director of member communications, said the show has undergone significant change in the past five to 10 years, including an increasingly customer-centric approach. “One of the first ways we implemented this approach was to bring processing suppliers into the show,” she says. “We found that attendees don;t necessarily identify as ‘processors’ or ‘packagers’ but rather with the markets they serve. And, increasingly, we saw them looking at production lines as opposed to distinct packaging or processing lines—what we call ‘total systems solutions.’”

Pavilions for 2013:
The Processing Zone
The Pharmaceutical Pavilion, endorsed by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE)
The Reusable Packaging Pavilion, endorsed by the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA)
The Confectionery Pavilion, endorsed by the National Confectioners Association (NCA)
The Brand Zone

Vertical lounges for 2013:
The Candy Bar lounge, endorsed by NCA
The Rx Lounge, sponsored by Polypack and endorsed by ISPE
The Baking–Snack Break lounge, sponsored by Kliklok-Woodman and endorsed by the Snack Food Association (SFA)
The Beverage Cooler lounge, endorsed by the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT).
Lounges feature networking areas and ask-the-expert desks. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m., The Candy Bar lounge and The Rx Lounge will host industry receptions.

This year also debuts the SMB FastTrack program for small- and medium-sized businesses. “These companies rely on their packaging and processing equipment and materials for streamlined operations, getting their products to market faster and keeping pace with larger competitors,” said Achelpohl. “SMB FastTrack makes it easier for them to find what they need at PACK EXPO.” All SMB FastTrack participants receive an SMB FastTrack Sourcing Index, The FastTrack Navigator, and, on the show floor, access to the SMB FastTrack Networking Center and its SMB-specific educational sessions (details coming soon).

SMB FastTrack attendees from the C-Suite qualify for SMB FastTrack Platinum. In addition to the above perks, they will have access to personalized sourcing assistance, unlimited use of the FastTrack Platinum lounge and selected business intelligence studies from PMMI.

The roster of educational programs includes a number of new and, for the first time, free events, including:

Innovation Stage: 40 free half-hour presentations, from engineering, operations and cost-analysis experts from the Alliance for Innovation and Operational Excellence (AIOE) and consumer insight analysts from Mintel, among others. Central Hall, Booths C-141, C-142 and C-143.

Center for Trends & Technology: In this new special exhibit, learn how technological innovations can improve production. Sponsored by Rockwell Automation and its Partner Network, the CTT will feature displays and educational sessions from suppliers such as Cisco, Jacobs Automation, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, Rockwell Automation and Spectrum Control. Educational sessions will delve into a range of topics including security, line integration, remote access and cloud strategies. Central Hall, Booth 1358.

Food Safety Summit Resource Center: Offering free presentations, information and one-on-one consultations that address critical food safety issues and compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act. Upper South Hall, Booth S-7332.

Reusables Learning Center: This new program offers daily free informative presentations by end users and industry experts on how they have successfully integrated reusable packaging into the supply chain. Presentations are on the show floor in the Reusable Packaging Pavilion. Lower South Hall, Booth S-6458

Education & Workforce Development Pavilion: Those looking for education opportunities outside of the show can meet several representatives of colleges and universities in the Education Pavilion. Upper South Hall

Clemson University Packaging Emporium—Design for the Future: Discover the impact that packaging design has on consumer behavior as you explore an interactive exhibit featuring Clemson’s biometric technology. Central Hall, Booth C-151

The Amazing Packaging Race: Teams of students from across the country are given points as they go hands-on with a variety of packaging hardware and software.

PACK Solutions Challenge: Student teams are tasked with recommending a packaging solution for a specific application. Students’ innovative solutions will be on display after 3 p.m. on Monday, September 23; Tuesday, September 24 and Wednesday, September 25 in the Education & Workforce Development Pavilion. Upper South Hall

To register for PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013, visit Discounted registration rates of $30 per person apply until September 9, 2013; costs increase to $60 per person after that date and on-site.

About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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