The packaging and processing community came together this week for perhaps the most important PACK EXPO Las Vegas in its history, according to show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
Nearly 32,000 attendees, the most in the show’s history, actively engaged with more than 2,300 exhibitors across 1 million net sq ft of exhibit space at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This event not only stands as the largest packaging and processing trade show in North America this year but as the largest PACK EXPO Las Vegas in the show’s history.
“PACK EXPO Las Vegas was a huge win for the packaging and processing industry,” said Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “From attendance to exhibition space to educational sessions – the show surpassed expectations to provide our largest, most comprehensive show to date. This is proof that the industry continues to thrive and show-up to provide the most innovative, sustainable, effective solutions the world has to offer.”
As PMMI’s State of the Industry report highlights, industry growth remains steady at a healthy 3.4 percent with the total size of the market in the U.S. reaching $10.2 billion.
Looking to capitalize on this growth, more than 2,300 exhibitors displayed and promoted their latest innovations to make connections with decision makers in packaging and processing.
“PACK EXPO Las Vegas has been an invaluable platform for Ska Fabricating to connect and engage in meaningful discussions about packaging line automation,” said Elise Wright, marketing & events manager, Ska Fabricating. “This show not only showcases a myriad of solutions for the entire packaging industry, but also fosters an environment where industry professionals can exchange ideas and insights. The networking opportunities on and off the show floor have helped to strengthen and grow our industry partnerships.”
“The show has been fantastic for us, and being in the Processing Zone was perfect. The traffic has been excellent, and we're having quality conversations with key decision-makers about their processing needs. PACK EXPO Las Vegas was the perfect place to showcase our new processing innovations,” said Mark Padly, account manager, Provisur Technologies.
“Our goal was to meet potential customers and share more about our company offerings and values in an up close and personal way. It was pretty amazing to have this level of access to buyers and experience all the machinery in action,” said Ryan Cabral, sales and operations manager, Ideal Solution LLC.
Both first-time and long-time exhibitors made new connections, unveiled new solutions and found exceptional value at this year’s PACK EXPO Las Vegas.
“We didn’t quite know what to expect our first time at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, but we found the experience to be effective. We connected with value chain members that we normally don’t have a chance to connect with and discovered innovations, especially in sustainability, that we didn’t know existed. We were pleasantly surprised,” said Jon Timbers, chief sustainability officer, Epsilyte LLC.
“The best part of PACK EXPO Las Vegas was introducing our brand to new audiences and diverse industries. We are impressed with the number of decision makers with quality projects we were able to meet with. We expect the number of leads that came from this show to fuel our business for months to come,” said Jack H., communications manager, Chubby Gorilla, Inc.
“After years of being an attendee at PACK EXPO, making the decision to exhibit at PACK EXPO Las Vegas has brought us great value. The Containers and Materials Pavilion was the perfect venue to showcase our capabilities. The show traffic exceeded our expectations, and we are planning to be back!” said Mary Mayled, manager of marketing, business development and commercial administration, Plastipak Packaging, Inc.
Attendees come for a variety of reasons, and a show like PACK EXPO Las Vegas offers multifaceted solutions for the more than 40 vertical markets represented at the show.
“We're a pet food co-packer and came to PACK EXPO Las Vegas with a big group from Spanish Fork, Utah,” said Kyle Cloward, packaging manager, Mountain Country Foods. “I'm here to see materials and containers while others from our team are focused on equipment. I'm specifically looking for materials that stand up to more highly automated systems. This is my third visit to the show. It's always good to see everything you need in one place.”
“I came to PACK EXPO Las Vegas to find new packaging and filling equipment and am excited by what I'm seeing on the show floor. This might be the largest PACK EXPO I've attended. It's a well put together event with a good representation of industry suppliers which allows me to see so many solutions live and under one roof,” said Suzanne Dawis, vice president of R&D, Bright Innovation Labs.
“Our group includes several companies and more than 28 brands in cookies, crackers, snacks, and breads. I'm at PACK EXPO Las Vegas to find automation and robotics solutions to take our operations to the next level,” said Ryan Besai Group, chief engineer, Bermudez Group Limited based in Trinidad and Tobago. “While I'm new to the show, I can see that PACK EXPO Las Vegas has a wide variety of suppliers. The Innovation Stage sessions I attended were very enlightening. For businesses based in the Caribbean, the show is relatively close and easy to reach.”
As stated in the latest State of the Industry report, sustainability remains top of mind and thousands of attendees visited the new Sustainability Central exhibit to take a journey through the sustainability process. They were also able to visit the hundreds of exhibitors showcasing sustainable materials and machinery at the show.
“We came to PACK EXPO Las Vegas to find more sustainable packaging options,” said Brooke Ervin, packaging engineer, Mopar (Chrysler Service Parts Division). “Particularly, we're interested in returnable packaging. We've already seen possible solutions on the show floor and visited Sustainability Central. This show is where we need to be.”
Show attendees voted for the most outstanding innovations on the show floor in the Technology Excellence Awards announced Tuesday afternoon. The winners of the 2023 awards are Aneko Emsys (Aneko, N-10165) for Food/Beverage, AI Enabled Augmented Reality for Transforming Packaging Operations (Harpak-ULMA Packaging, SL-6188, SL-6101) for General Packaging and Processing, Catalyx Digital LineClearance Assistant™ (Catalyx, SL-6185) for Personal Care/Pharma, and Amcor HealthCare Recycle Ready Sachet (Amcor Healthcare Packaging, SL-6635) for Sustainability. For more information about this year’s winners, visit packexpolasvegas.com/tea.
PACK EXPO Las Vegas was more than just a packaging and processing equipment and materials show, it offered more than 130 educational sessions and plenty of networking opportunities.
“I consult for a wide range of companies - from manufacturers of electronics to sealants to food and beverage CPGs” said Kurt Ulmer, captain, Crazy Contraption, Packaging Design Consultancy. “PACK EXPO Las Vegas is huge and all-encompassing. It's a good place to network. I'm also here to see materials advances and find innovative solutions for sustainability - particularly lightweighting - and cost savings in package design.”
A highlight of the show’s second day came early when 750 industry professionals gathered for the Packaging and Processing Women’s Leadership Network (PPWLN) breakfast. Keynote speaker Manjit Minhas, renowned Canadian entrepreneur, beer baroness, and television personality covered mentorship, being a working mom, starting her business, the importance of being fearless, and constant learning.
“It takes coordination and participation from all parts of our industry to pull together an event of this size and caliber. We’re extremely grateful to all involved in making this show a record-breaking success,” said Laura Thompson, vice president, trade shows, PMMI. “The feedback from exhibitors and attendees is encouraging, especially hearing success stories from both first-time and long-time participants.”
PMMI heads east next year with registration officially open for PACK EXPO East (March 18-20, 2024; Pennsylvania Convention Center). For more information and the register, visit packexpoeast.com.
PACK EXPO East is followed by EXPO PACK México (June 4-7, 2024; Mexico City), PACK EXPO International (November 3-6, 2024; Chicago), and the newest addition to the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, PACK EXPO Southeast (March 10-12, 2025; Atlanta). For all show-related information, visit packexpo.com.