PACK EXPO International 2012, which comes to Chicago’s McCormick Place October 28–31, has already seen space sales top 1 million net square feet.

“Reaching this milestone this far out from the show makes a statement about the role PACK EXPO plays in the realm of processing and packaging,” says Charles D. Yuska, president & CEO of show owner/producer PMMI, adding that some 1,300 exhibitors have reserved booth space.

“But the truth is, we’re only as good as this year’s experience. Our goal, this year and every year, is to improve the PACK EXPO experience to the point where every attendee can experience the show in a way that’s tailored to his or her needs,” Yuska says.

With its customer-centric approach, PMMI (www.PMMI.org) plans to take PACK EXPO International 2012 to new levels of success. The approach uses targeted exhibit areas, marketing and education as ways for attendees to create a show experience that meets their needs.

“To choose the target markets, we look at a number of factors, including the demographics of attendees. We’re expanding this approach in 2012 with additional markets and targeted show features,” Yuska says, noting that PMMI will announce any new markets at a later date. PACK EXPO has already seen support for its customer-centric approach from leading trade associations including the National Confectioners Association (NCA), which also sponsors the sold-out Confectionery Pavilion, and The Snack Food Association (SFA).

The PACK EXPO Connected Communities, up and running since August 2011, take the customer-centric approach online as a networking platform. To date, four market-specific community sites are active: confectionery, baking & snack, pharmaceutical, and general packaging and processing.

“PACK EXPO Connected Communities keep the customer-centric PACK EXPO experience going throughout the year. This online gathering site is a platform where you can network and connect with others in your market niche, whether you’re a supplier or an end user,” comments Yuska.

He adds, “PMMI’s strategic vision, our guiding principle, is to bring the processing and packaging supply chain together to facilitate innovation, foster connections and develop business opportunities. PACK EXPO is a critical component in achieving our vision, and we intend to continue making the show stronger and better with every passing year.”