PACK EXPO Las Vegas hit an unprecedented trifecta this year, breaking records for number of exhibitors, total exhibit space and total attendees, according to show owner and producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. By the show’s close on Wednesday, Sept. 25, preliminary numbers reveal that more than 2,000 exhibitors covering nearly 900,000 net square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center convened with more than 31,000 attendees; an 8% increase from the 2017 show.
“A lot of attendees weren’t here just to browse and see what’s new,” said Denis Adams of Thomas Packaging. “Most arrived with serious projects in hand, looking [to collaborate on] solutions.”
The massive number of attendees were also evident in and around the Forum and Innovation Stages as standing room only crowds poured out into the show aisles in order to take part in the free educational opportunities.
“The number of educational sessions has increased, which is a great value add for attendees, and in turn, benefits us as exhibitors,” said Peter Vilardi, marketing manager, Massman Companies.
As a senior packaging specialist for Nestle, Brandon Kelly was pleased to find exhibitors and education sessions that matched the recyclability and reusability goals of the largest food company in the world
“It gives me a sense of confidence to see that converters, raw material suppliers and other businesses throughout the supply chain are working toward similar sustainability initiatives, as seen in many of this year's Innovation Stage presentations,” Mr. Kelly said. “The industry has a big challenge to solve when it comes to sustainability, so it's great to see companies working toward a similar mission."
The new Robotics Zone was consistently busy as tens of thousands of attendees flocked to the North Hall to see the interactive robotic and cobot displays, including local news outlets. PACK for a Purpose: Robots Fighting Hunger, in collaboration with Blessings in a Backpack, was a must-see with over 6,000 bags of food packaged by exhibitor robots and donated to school children in Las Vegas, Chicago and Virginia. Participants included Chicago Electric with Yaskawa, Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc, ProMach Performance Services with ABB, Soft Robotics & Cognex, FANUC America Corporation and Universal Robots in partnership with Allied Technology.
PACK gives BACK wrapped up one of the busiest opening days in memory with the legendary Steve Miller Band headlining the annual networking fundraiser. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will support NS2 Serves, a nonprofit dedicated to helping U.S. military veterans transition from combat boots to business suits, providing IT training and employment assistance at no cost.
A highlight of the second day of the show came early when nearly 700 industry professionals gathered for the Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network breakfast. Themed “Exploring New Territory,” keynote speaker Dr. Ellen Ochoa shared her journey to becoming the first Hispanic woman to go into space.
The next event in the PACK EXPO portfolio is PACK EXPO East, being held, March 3-5, 2020 in Philadelphia. Now in its fourth edition, the three-day event will feature 400 exhibiting companies and span 100,000 net square feet, providing the opportunity for attendees to exchange ideas with 7,000 peers. The location in Philadelphia presents a unique opportunity for the CPG-rich mid-Atlantic, allowing much of the east coast the chance to drive or train in and see the latest in cutting edge technology and insights. Visit packexpoeast.com for information and registration for the upcoming show.