PACK EXPO International surpasses last edition’s visitor turnout
With 2200 exhibitors and 44,000 attendees, PACK EXPO International was a huge success after a gap of four years.
Back after four years, the industry came together in a big way at PACK EXPO International (Oct. 23-26, 2022). The show convened over 44,000 attendees, surpassing the 2018 event. With 2,200 exhibitors showcasing groundbreaking packaging and processing innovations over 1.2 million net square feet at McCormick Place in Chicago, PACK EXPO International was the one and only time the entire industry came together this year.
The show opened its doors with the industry ready to do business after years of consistent growth, reported show owner and producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. In 2019, the market for packaging machinery was $10.8 billion, this year the industry broke the $15 billion mark, a growth of 40%, according to PMMI’s State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery report.
“The success of PACK EXPO is a testament to our industry’s continued growth as well as PMMI’s commitment to bringing the industry together to share cutting-edge innovations,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “No other event this year showcased so many end-to-end solutions, offering attendees everything they need to compete in a changing marketplace.”
Team Two wins 2022 Amazing Packaging Race
Four students emerged champions as winners of the 2022 Amazing Packaging Race on the PACK EXPO International show floor. Coordinated by show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, and sponsored by Emerson, the race brought together 25 teams from schools across the U.S. to complete a series of challenges spanning over 1.2 million net-square-feet of exhibit space.
Team two consisting of Gabby Brophy – Virginia Tech, Karinne Ehni – Michigan State University, Noah Hernandez – Virginia Tech, and Greyson Hammer – University of Wisconsin-Stout overtook the competition with their quick-witted social media skills and show floor strategy, reaching the most exhibitors and completing assigned tasks faster than their opponents. Each of the winning students took home $1,000 in prize money.
Team thirteen players Mackenzie Beane – Toronto Metropolitan University, Emilia Hansen – Becker High School, Shak Kataev – Virginia Tech, Andrea Cacovic – Rochester Institute of Technology took second place.
“The Amazing Packaging Race is always such a fun and rewarding experience – both students and exhibitors look forward to it each year,” says Kate Fiorianti, director, workforce development, PMMI. “This year’s competition was our largest to date. This goes to show the growing interest from the future workforce in obtaining careers within the packaging and processing industry.”
Answering the need to come together, network and see advances, PACK EXPO International 2022 offered more show features than ever before, bringing value to all market segments.
A record-breaking Packaging and Processing Women’s Leadership Network (PPWLN) breakfast brought together nearly 1,000 professionals to hear Dawn Hudson, former Chief Marketing Officer at the National Football League and Former President and CEO of Pepsi Cola North America, talk about her experiences in the workforce. The PPWLN event, aimed at advancing the future of women in the packaging and processing industry, was sponsored by: Emerson, ID Technology, Morrison Container Handling Solutions, Plexpack Corp., Septimatech Group Inc., and SMC Corporation of America.
Developing the future packaging and processing workforce was a top priority at PACK EXPO International with the largest number of students in attendance in history of the event. More than 1,500 students attending the show and participating in the many opportunities to get students excited about careers in this industry. In addition to the prestigious Future Innovators Robotics Showcase, educational Amazing Packaging Race sponsored by Emerson, and Students PACK the Expo programs, this year six teams faced off in a brand-new machine building PACK Challenge, sponsored by PepsiCo.
With robust education offerings, the focus on developing our industry went beyond students. PACK EXPO International held over 120 education sessions, beginning with the one-day Emerging Brands Summit, making its debut at the show. The education continued throughout the show on various on-floor stages, offering educational sessions such as the Innovation Stage, Processing Innovation Stage, PACK to the Future Stage, The Forum, and Reusable Packaging Learning Center.
Additionally, the PACK EXPO Association Partner Program connected attendees to leading associations from all segments of packaging and processing. This year’s program was the largest in PACK EXPO history with 50 partners.
Many attendees came knowing that PACK EXPO International is the place to find the right innovations to take their operations to the next level.
“We’re a contract manufacturer, so we’re here looking for solutions to problems we don’t even know exist yet. This is an opportunity for us to learn and do fact-finding,” says Alec McNally, brand manager at St. Charles Trading.
The opportunity to connect with peers is an invaluable experience at PACK EXPO International. “We came to PACK EXPO International to see the latest and greatest technology. Being at the show helps us prepare and plan for the following year while also providing us an unmatched opportunity to network,” says Bill Baldwin, sales engineer, Motion AI.
Dr. Angela Anandappa, executive director, Alliance for Advanced Sanitation focuses on food safety, and found PACK EXPO International as the right place to get a glimpse into the industry’s future.
“I haven’t seen this many people in one place in a long time! As a professional in the food safety realm, PACK EXPO International is the place to be if you want to know what is new in the industry. It’s a look into the future.”
Victoria Chatman-Galloway, global head & VP packaging, OFI, came to the show looking for sustainable solutions.“If you are in the packaging industry, you know that this is the show to attend. I flew in from Orlando particularly interested in finding sustainable packaging solutions.”
“We would like to thank PMMI’s Board of Directors, our membership, exhibitors, and all attendees who supported PACK EXPO International and made this show a tremendous success,” says Laura Thompson, VP trade shows, PMMI.
Industry growth translated into buyers coming in significant numbers, ready to see the latest packaging materials as well as technology in action.
“The show is very well attended. The end user base was eager to come back and see equipment in person. For our industry, the economy looks like it will be robust in 2023. Customers are acting on buying automation and not just talking about it,” says Jeff Kaplan, VP integrated systems, Hamrick Packaging Systems.
Improving operations, reaching sustainability goals, and checking out new innovations are just a few of the drivers that brought consumer packaged goods (CPG) and life sciences companies to PACK EXPO International.
“We come to PACK EXPO to discover ways to enhance our operations especially from a sustainability standpoint. We are looking for sustainable equipment, options for recyclability and end of line customisation,” says Alexander Clarke, quality engineer, Bath & Body Works.
“I came to see the new solutions and what’s happened in the last few years. It’s great to travel to shows again and see the latest innovations. In particular, I noticed a lot of new equipment this year,” says Leroy Owens, research specialist, Proctor & Gamble.
The buzz on the show floor confirmed that exhibitors and attendees from companies of all sizes found a rewarding, and some claim unparalleled, experience at the four-day event.
“We’re very happy to be back after four years. Monday was the best day at a tradeshow event ever. Visitors at the booth had funded projects to discuss, and actual details for purchase,” says Mark Navin, vice president of sales, Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery Inc.
Sara M. Carrio, president of Pachitos Ice Cream came to PACK EXPO International looking for critical solutions to improve their operations. “We came to PACK EXPO to check out wrapping machinery, and we’ve already closed on about $30,000 worth of deals in our first day here.”
Mario Mazzotta, vice president of sales & marketing, Standard-Knapp, could not be more pleased with the traffic and leads from this show.“Great PACK EXPO! We had a record day on Monday with a double-digit increase in leads from previous PACK EXPO shows.”
Stacy Johnson, vice president business development, Hoosier Feeder Company, also gave PACK EXPO International her stamp of approval as a not-to-be-missed event.“The show has been fantastic for us. The traffic has been excellent and we’re having quality conversations with key customers about their automation needs. PACK EXPO is a can’t miss event.”
Jeremy Jones, global marketing director, Domino Amjet, Inc., prioritized PACK EXPO International as customers came ready to do business.“There were only genuine buyers with a project interest. PACK EXPO is back. I’m from Europe, but the fact that I’ve flown to PACK EXPO in the U.S. shows the value of this event.”
Rob Yandrick, global product manager, Eriez confirmed attendees were ready to do business.“The lead quality and quantity are great. Even the attendees without specific projects are valid. Many with specific projects.”
Darryl Gee, vice president of sales, Lantech said, “The best part of PACK EXPO International was seeing all of our customers and partners. This is the strongest show in years – everybody’s back!”
Next up in the PACK EXPO portfolio is EXPO PACK Guadalajara (June 13-15, 2023) followed by PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Sept. 11-13, 2023; Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas). Information and registration for the upcoming show can be found at packexpolasvegas.com.
PACK EXPO Xpress, an on-demand, digital experience including key education sessions from PACK EXPO International 2022 is available until Nov. 30, 2022.
Waterford Union High School claims top prize in the PACK Challenge
The team from Waterford Union High School claimed the top prize of $6,000 for Overall Best in Show, in the first-ever PACK Challenge, sponsored by PepsiCo, held at PACK EXPO International (Oct. 23-26, 2022; McCormick Place, Chicago). This same team also placed in several categories: Filler Performance Gold Cup, Engineering Method/Most Innovative Filler Design, and Marketing/Sales Competition. Awards were presented on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the PACK Challenge Booth in the West Lobby.
This first-of-its-kind, end-to-end packaging competition, produced by show organizer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, brought together six high school teams for a machine building challenge. Each team was provided kits containing all components necessary to build a marble filling machine in a mock production line. Following the competition, the machines will be shipped back to the schools to use as a learning tool.
“The PACK Challenge showcases the talent, creativity, and collaboration of these high school students,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “From the real-world solutions these students designed to the sales and marketing presentations, this competition was a true test of engineering, manufacturing, and project management skills. The skill, ingenuity, and enthusiasm displayed by these future leaders proves the outlook for our industry is strong.”
The teams began to design and build their machines earlier this summer, and then crated and shipped their innovations to PACK EXPO International. At the show, they were judged in a variety of areas including design, operator training, changeover, and sales/marketing.