PMMI, owner and producer of the PACK EXPO trade shows, reports that with more than 26,000 attendees, 1,559 exhibitors and nearly 630,000 net square feet, Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011 (Las Vegas Convention Center, Sept. 26-28) broke its event records on these and several other counts.

“Simply put, this is the most dynamic show we’ve produced in Las Vegas,” says PMMI President & CEO Charles D. Yuska. “Record-breaking only begins to describe it. Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011 brought integrated processing and packaging innovations to more than 40 vertical markets, including food, beverage, confectionery, pharmaceutical, and baking and snack.” Preliminary figures show 2011 attendance figures about 15% greater than 2009, and a jump of nearly one-third in international attendance (includes Canada). Net square footage was up more than 20%.

New features set new tone

PMMI was intent on making sure this edition of Pack Expo Las Vegas, the eighth since the every-other-year show launched in 1995, presented a range of new features and activity. Key among them was the arrival of The Processing Zone to Pack Expo Las Vegas. The special pavilion launched at Pack Expo International 2010, with the introduction of processing innovations to the Pack Expo show floor.

“The show is packed full of packaging and processing professionals looking for innovative ideas. We’re always looking for great ideas in our business, and this is the place to come for innovation,” says Freshway Foods President/Owner Phil Gilardi.

In The Brand Zone, Project 2020: The Consumer Experience rewarded visionary thinking with the “Package of the Future” competition, won by Directions Marketing for its “Tri-tainer”™ concept for pet food packaging. First prize in Pack Expo Selects went to MultiVac, for its Heinz Ketchup Dip & Squeeze package.  As the Grand Prize Winner, Directions Marketing will receive the Complete Studio Bundle from software partner EskoArtwork. The other nine finalists will receive copies of Studio Designer, EskoArtwork’s 3D visualization plug-in for Adobe Illustrator.

Creating and connecting community

Key to Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011 was a customer-centric approach that helped attendees easily tailor the event, easily the largest packaging and processing show in North America this year,  to their particular needs. Among the most highly-regarded show features was the first-ever Pack Expo Leadership Lecture, featuring General Colin Powell (USA, ret.). Powell spoke to more than 1,000 on the art of leadership, and all in attendance appreciated his perspective.

On the show floor, attendees and exhibitors could connect at lounges dedicated to specific vertical niches The Baking-Snack Break (endorsed by the Snack Food Association (SFA) and sponsored by Blueprint Automation, Kliklok-Woodman and Yamato), The Candy Bar (endorsed by the National Confectioners Association (NCA)) and The RX Lounge. Each lounge included an ‘ask the expert’ feature and Innovation Stage presentations in which exhibitors presented their latest solutions to common packaging and processing challenges. Receptions at each lounge on Monday, Sept. 26, gave attendees and exhibitors additional networking opportunities as they relaxed at the end of a very busy first day of the show.

 In the lounges, attendees and exhibitors had a special opportunity to join  Pack Expo’s Connected Communities, the new, year-round online presence for the professionals of PACK EXPO. Those who joined onsite were entered into a drawing for an iPad 2. “The Connected Communities serve a similar purpose to the lounges on the show floor, but they’re online” says Yuska. “They’re a 24/7/365 platform for networking and staying informed in your specific niche or niches of the processing and packaging communities.” Pack Expo’s Connected Communities launched in late August, with four community sites tailored to specific industry markets: confectionery, baking & snack, pharmaceutical and general packaging and processing. Each community includes a range of features, such as tailored news, insight and discussions developed and moderated by staff hand-picked by PMMI's Packaging Machinery Technology Magazine.

Learn more about PMMI and the PACK EXPO trade shows at PMMI.org and Packexpo.com