According to the Beverage Industry Report (Sept. 2014) from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, beverage companies want innovations that will lead to more energy-efficient equipment; more flexible, forgiving and faster equipment; new packaging materials; and much faster speed to market with packaging designs.

PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2015 (Las Vegas Convention Center, Sept. 28-30), owned and produced by PMMI, will open up a wealth of opportunities for beverage brand owners to meet these needs. The show, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind this year, will host 30,000 attendees and over 2,000 exhibitors in more than 800,000 net square feet of exhibit space. 

“In addition to focusing on consumer trends, beverage professionals need to be up to speed on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). PACK EXPO Las Vegas will provide access to suppliers and education that will make compliance easier,” says Jim Pittas, senior vice president, PMMI.

Start at the Beginning

Beverage manufacturers can start their trip around the show floor in areas like the Processing Zone (Upper South Hall), a hub for processing equipment suppliers, where they can also visit the Food Safety Summit Resource Center (Booth S-7632). Organized and brought to PACK EXPO Las Vegas by the Food Safety Summit and co-sponsor GE, the Food Safety Summit Resource Center will be a central location for FSMA experts who will present educational seminars and be available for one-on-one consultations about the latest in food safety and FSMA compliance. 

The Beverage Cooler Lounge (Booth S-7429), hosted by the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT), is a key on-floor destination for strengthening connections. This central meeting point will provide opportunities to network with experts and peers addressing similar trends and challenges.
“This is the fourth time we’ve provided resources at The Beverage Cooler Lounge,” says Larry Hobbs, ISBT executive director. “We know the value it provides our members and other beverage industry professionals. Having a dedicated space on the show floor where they can network and learn the latest trends in the marketplace allows them to make the most of their PACK EXPO experience.” 

ISBT will host a reception for beverage professionals at the Beverage Cooler Lounge on Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 3:30–5 p.m. 

The Brand Zone (Lower South Hall), which features materials and containers that shape winning brands, is a central point for attendees looking to improve product freshness or shelf appeal. Within The Brand Zone, the Showcase of Packaging Innovations®, sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company, will display award-winning packages from competitions around the world. 

Drink in the Knowledge
There are plenty of opportunities to learn, too. ISBT will present a series of five educational sessions at The Beverage Cooler Lounge:
• What are the Packaging Challenges and Trends We Face in Today’s Dynamically Changing Markets? Presented by Ron Puvak, director, Global Marketing and New Business Development, Plastic Technologies, Inc. (Monday, Sept. 28, and Tuesday, Sept. 29, 10–10:30 a.m.)
• FSMA and Food Defense: How will You be Affected? Presented by Brian Stegman, senior engineer & food safety manager, Ingredion Incorporated (Monday, Sept. 28, and Tuesday, Sept. 29, 11–11:30 a.m.)
• Beverage Quality Fundamentals Presented by Cloeann Durham, senior director of quality, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (Monday, Sept. 28, and Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1–1:30 p.m.)
• New Biopolymers: Synchronizing Properties with Business Opportunities Presented by Scott Steele, president, Plastic Technologies, Inc. (Monday, Sept. 28, and Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2–2:30 p.m.)
• The Global Food Safety Initiative: How Will GFSI Affect You? Presented by Cloeann Durham, senior director of quality, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (Monday, Sept. 28, and Tuesday, Sept. 29, 3–3:30 p.m.) 

The Center for Trends and Technology (Booth C-4829), organized by Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork, covers the newest in automation technology with displays and educational sessions, and the Innovation Stage (Booths C-1041, C-1045, C-1049) will showcase more than 40 educational sessions.
Entertaining Success at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 

“PACK EXPO is all about learning, doing business better and connecting with your industry,” Pittas says. “For connections and networking, you’ve got to go to PACK gives BACK. It will be a great time for a great cause.” 

PACK gives BACK™ is an annual fundraiser and signature PACK EXPO event, and will feature a performance from legendary rock band Chicago. PMMI will donate ticket sale proceeds to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides comfort to the families of wounded military and veterans during their stays in medical facilities, and the Nevada Military Service Alliance, which is building the state’s first Fisher House in North Las Vegas. 

“With more than 40 vertical markets represented, PACK EXPO Las Vegas is the most comprehensive event of its kind this year. The industry comes here for solutions to their operational challenges, and because there’s so much breadth to the show, they have the benefit of coming to truly innovative solutions inspired by other industries,” says Pittas. 

To learn more and register for PACK EXPO Las Vegas and its co-located partner show Pharma EXPO, produced in partnership by PMMI and the Institute for Pharmaceutical Engineering, visit Tickets for PACK gives BACK ($100/person or $90 for groups of 10 or more) can be purchased during the registration process. PACK gives BACK is only open to registered attendees and exhibitors of PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Pharma EXPO 2015.