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Innovation Stage, the Food Safety Summit Resource Center, The Reusables Learning Center, The Center for Trends and Technologies—they all mean the same thing: Education on the show floor at PACK EXPO International and the co-located Pharma EXPO (Nov. 2–5, 2014; McCormick Place, Chicago). And they’re just a few of the on-the-floor venues for education at the most comprehensive packaging and processing event on this side of the Atlantic.

“Today’s manufacturing industries are more competitive, more globalized and more heavily regulated than ever. Knowing what’s around the corner is critical, not only for the success of these companies, but also for their survival,” says Maria Ferrante, vice president, Education & Workforce Development, PMMI. PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is the owner and producer of PACK EXPO International. “This is why PMMI has made a point of bringing education to the show floor. It keeps attendees learning—from the leading innovations they’re seeing around them as well as from the experts presenting sessions throughout the exhibit halls.”

The Food Safety Summit Resource Center (FSSRC), presented by The Food Safety Summit and sponsored by GE Intelligent Platforms, will cover critical food safety issues, providing presentations from subject matter experts as well as one-on-one consultations. Session topics will include compliance with the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and traceability, and will cover best practices, recent advances and proven strategies. Find the full schedule of sessions here.

For those interested in the efficiencies and cost-saving benefits of reusable packaging, The Reusables Learning Center (RLC) will be a valuable and productive resource. The RLC, endorsed by the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA), will present free education sessions uncovering ways to integrate reusables into the supply chain for increased efficiency. Click here for a full schedule of sessions.

Industry-specific networking lounges will also provide structured educational programming. For example, The Beverage Cooler lounge, hosted by the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) will stage two daily educational sessions addressing critical issues in the beverage manufacturing sector. The first session, Still Beverage Closure Fundamentals, will be presented at 11 a.m. by Bill Thomas, Senior Consultant at Silgan White Cap. This session will explore the various types of closures (steel, aluminum and plastic) used for hot fill beverages. The day’s second session, PET Fundamentals for Beverage Packaging, is slated for 1 p.m. and will be presented by Ron Puvak, Director of Marketing and New Business Development at Plastic Technologies, Inc. This session will provide an overview of the use of PET plastic materials, processes and trends in beverage packaging.

The educational opportunities go beyond what’s offered within show features. Many PACK EXPO exhibitors are planning in-booth presentations covering a wide range of topics, including quality visibility and traceability throughout the supply chain, and enhancing sustainability on the line.

“For Emerson, PACK EXPO provides a perfect forum to engage with customers and industry thought leaders about current challenges faced within the packaging industry,” says Derek Thomas, director and brand officer, Emerson (Booth #N-6231). “Emerson has put together a series of educational events we hope our visitors will find interesting and engaging, discussing how expertise and innovation come together to deliver advancements in safety, energy efficiency and performance.”

In-booth presentations will also serve as platforms to demonstrate the newest equipment.

“The In-Booth Education program at PACK EXPO offers great flexibility for Optel to showcase our latest innovations,” says Alexandre Thomas, marketing manager, Optel Vision (Booth #S-2638). “The Flying CartonTracker™ will be presented for the first time in North America, giving attendees a first-hand look at the smallest print and inspection system for packaging lines. The presentation will also allow us to demonstrate the capabilities of the PackStation™, a semi-automatic aggregation station that supports the manual packaging operation from carton-to-case in an ergonomic way.”

A full list of exhibitor in-booth educational opportunities can be found online at

PACK EXPO International 2014 will also see the return of the Innovation Stage—on the Grand Concourse, near the entrance to the North Hall and in the West Building near the entrance to Pharma EXPO. Presentations at Innovation Stage are short —30 minutes—educational sessions from subject matter experts, including exhibitors, on trends, challenges and solutions in a wide range of applications and markets. Foreign object detection in food, smarter asset management, and safe and sustainable packaging are just a few topics that will be addressed. Schedules for Innovation Stage and other scheduled educational sessions at PACK EXPO are online at

Registration for the show is $60. For more information about the shows, visit or