It only comes around every other year, it’s the biggest packaging event in the South, it’s expected to draw some 500 of the country’s leading packaging suppliers, and it runs April 24-26 at the World Congress Center in Atlanta. What else could it be but the 2001 version of Southpack, sponsored by Reed Exhibition Companies (Norwalk, CT).
Two years ago, Southpack ’99 drew 8꺆 industry professionals to the World Congress Center, and it occupied more than 130ꯠ sq’ of exhibition space. Packaging equipment, materials, components, containers, services, converting machinery, materials handling equipment, and machine components/controls–it was all there in ’99 and will be again this year.
According to Reed, the market for packaging in the south totals more than $22 billion, a sizable chunk of the total United States market, which is estimated to be in the range of $100 billion.
Some 77ꯠ manufacturing companies are located in the Southeastern United States, and these are among the companies expected to send their people to Southpack. Reed statistics also show that ’99 attendees were well-qualified: 81% were involved in purchasing decisions, 93% influenced vendor selection, and nearly half did not attend any other packaging show.
“Our attendee audience comes from every major industrial product category and is very balanced in terms of job titles,” says Reed’s Howard Friedman, Southpack show manager. Friedman adds that packaging and project engineers account for more than half the attendance and purchasing for more than one third.
New additions to the show this year include a Food Processing showcase of products, equipment, and technology for each stage of the food development and processing tasks. A new pavillion for e-business solutions has also been added. It will feature e-business products and service suppliers, including supply chain management software, document management, web developers, customer relationship management tools, enterprise resource planning systems, and more.
Exhibit hall hours are Tuesday, April 24, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday, April 25, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Thursday, April 26, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Also available to Southpack visitors are eight conference sessions. The first is at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 23, a day before the show opens. Presented by Scott Whiteside of Clemson University, it’s titled Market enhancement through package design and distribution technology.
The next six conference sessions are offered by the Institute of Packaging Professionals.
“We’re using a panel discussion format to provide not only the most information on selected topics that we can fit into a two-hour session, but also to provide the most opportunity for those in attendance to get their questions answered,” says IoPP executive vice president Tom Schneider. Each IoPP session is offered at $135. Registration is being handled by Reed Exhibitions and can be accomplished at the same time attendees sign up for the show and make travel arrangements. For registration details, go to www.packaging.reedexpo.com.
All six IoPP conference programs begin at 8:30 a.m., so Southpack attendees will have to choose from among sessions that run concurrently. On Tuesday, April 24, is Accessing packaging information today. Moderated by Bill Pflaum, executive director of IoPP, it will bring together industry editors, Packtion, Reed Exhibitions, and IoPP to explore the kinds of information that are available today and to discuss strategies for gaining access to it.
Also on Tuesday is Package shipping in the Internet age. Presented by Schneider, it aims to be a substantive discussion of today’s distribution challenges presented by the combination of global demand and single-unit parcels.
Tuesday morning also includes Planning your career in packaging, an information-packed session on how to plan for success in a packaging career. It will be moderated by Jim Jeselnick of Quality Search.
On Wednesday, April 25, Southpack visitors can catch up on Software for packaging. Attendees can check out the latest software tools designed to help packaging professionals manage the supply chain, create a pallet pattern, or check on the status of a specific packaging line.
Emerging trends and new technologies is moderated by Mike Kelley, managing partner of IoPP. The session is designed to help packagers be prepared for whatever is coming down the pike that might affect a package, a packaging line, or packaging management.
The final session on Wednesday is Packaging in a child-resistant, aging environment, moderated by IoPP president John M. Bitner. He’ll explore how manufacturers can satisfy the often conflicting needs for safety and convenience of use. Bitner will bring the audience into the discussion with “real time” exercises.
Wednesday evening includes a Women in Packaging reception at 5:00 p.m.
A special “added-value” session is scheduled for Thursday, April 26, again at 8:30 a.m. Moderated by IoPP’s Pflaum, it’s called Packaging education at Southeastern universities–and how your company benefits.
See page 72 for a list of companies exhibiting at Southpack.