When the curtain goes up on Pack Expo International 2006, it will mark the 50th anniversary of this all-important packaging extravaganza.
Sponsored by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, Pack Expo International 2006 runs October 29 to November 2 at Chicago's McCormick Place. As always, it will be a showcase of the latest developments in packaging equipment, materials, containers, and services. Some 1,900 exhibitors—216 of them new to Pack Expo this year—are set to show their wares to about 50,000 attendees, including 6,000 international visitors from more than 75 countries.
“The large number of new exhibitors underscores that Pack Expo is the premier venue for finding innovative packaging solutions,” says PMMI president Chuck Yuska. “With so many new products, high-performance materials and containers, and novel machine technologies in a single location, attendees will undoubtedly find everything they need to introduce unique package designs to the market in a timely, cost-effective manner.”
Now in its 50th year, Pack Expo continues to add value by focusing on new technologies and the critical issues that face today's packaging professional. Two new technology pavilions will make their debut this year: the Containers & Materials Pavilion and the Brand Protection Center.
Back again this year is The Showcase of Packaging Innovations™, a special pavilion highlighting the year's most innovative packaging designs from around the world. All of the packages featured in this pavilion have been recognized for outstanding design by prominent international organizations.
“Today's consumer has a staggering array of brand choices,” says Yuska. “Savvy marketers are leveraging innovative packaging designs that are highly focused and meet the specific needs of the target audience to communicate positively to the consumer and have a strong impact at point-of-sale. Pack Expo International is the only place consumer goods companies can be exposed to the complete spectrum of global packaging innovations and concepts to increase retail sales, grow brand loyalty, and build greater market share.”
While visiting The Showcase of Packaging Innovations, attendees will be invited to participate in Pack Expo Selects, a new “people's choice” awards program being unveiled at this year's show. All packages featured in the Pack Expo Selects display will be designs commercialized, developed, and produced by one or more Pack Expo exhibitors. Credit will be given to those companies who participated in the package's development, design, converting, or production. During the show, Pack Expo attendees will be able to vote for the package they deem most innovative. They will cast their vote via their My Pack Expo™ portal, which will be accessible at multiple kiosks around McCormick Place. Votes will be accepted each day of Pack Expo, with results announced after the show closes on Thursday, November 2.
Speaking of My Pack Expo, be sure to utilize this personalized, password-protected web portal to help ease the process of budgeting your time at the show. This unique program intelligently mines through the show's database of contacts, products, and conference sessions to generate a custom report tailored to your individual needs and interests. Schedule appointments with other packaging purchasers, find out which Conference at Pack Expo sessions you should attend, and get matched with exhibitors who will best meet your needs—all before arriving in Chicago.
As for The Conference at Pack Expo, you'll definitely want to reserve some time for this extensive program. Running Monday through Wednesday, October 30 through November 1, the conference is divided into five time periods each day, with four concurrent sessions planned for each time slot. Conference sessions are organized into several “tracks,” including RFID Opportunities, Materials/Containers Advances, Safety Issues, Management Strategies, Improving Operations, Brand Protection, Sustainability Strategies, and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). (See page 105 for the full conference program.)
Each day's conference program will also feature a keynote presentation from top executives representing the following influential global companies: Sonoco Products Co., Natureworks LLC, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Representing Wal-Mart will be Matt Kistler, vice president, package and product innovations, Sam's Club, and Amy Zettlemoyer, director of packaging, Sam's Club. In a closing keynote address November 1 at 10:30 a.m. titled “The Wal-Mart/Sam's Club packaging vision,” Kistler and Zettlemoyer will discuss the underlying principles Wal-Mart uses to stay abreast of consumer and environmental trends. They'll also offer insight into some of the packaging innovations being implemented by the world's largest retailer of packaged goods.
“With more than $288 billion in earnings in 2005 alone, Wal-Mart is clearly a key influencer in the packaging marketplace,” says Ben Miyares, vice president industry relations for PMMI. “As Wal-Mart continues to refine its packaging initiatives, there
is great interest in how those initiatives will shape the future of the industry. We're pleased that Wal-Mart has agreed to share the Wal-Mart/Sam's Club packaging vision and mission with Pack Expo
Joining Kistler and Zettlemoyer as keynoters are Harris E. DeLoach Jr., chairman, president, and CEO of Sonoco Products Co., and Dennis McGrew, president and CEO of Natureworks LLC. DeLoach will deliver the first keynote address on Monday, October 30, at 10:30 a.m. with a presentation entitled “Packaging: A change agent in change.” McGrew will be the keynoter on Tuesday, October 31, at 8:30 a.m. with “Creating a sustainable future: Growing the bio-resin market in a greening economy.”
A single registration fee allows access to exhibits for the entire five-day exposition and includes entrance to the co-located Process Expo (formerly the Food Processing Machinery Expo) and Converting & Packaging Printing Expo (CPP Expo).
Show hours for Pack Expo International 2006 are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday, the show runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register for the show, visit http://pei2006.packexpo.com. A complete alphabetical list of Pack Expo exhibitors begins on page 110. Accompanying the itemized booth locations are sneak previews of brand new products to be unveiled by Pack Expo exhibitors.