This will be my second PACK EXPO – and this time, I’ve got comfortable shoes (sort of), my entire agenda written down three times (on my phone, in my notebook and on my laptop… just in case one set gets lost), and all of the amped-up energy I can muster.

I’m ready… I think. Last year, it was a whirlwind. I was flabbergasted at the enormity of the Chicago expo, and couldn’t understand why everyone kept saying it would knock me – literally – off my feet. Top that off with being my first year in the industry and Houston, we did have a problem. Not enough “ammo” to handle it all.

Though, after stepping back a bit and reveling in the new software, high-tech machinery and unique product designs, I realized that I was in the thick of it. And, IT was where I wanted to be. While maybe not the Cool Kids Club, packaging is cool in its own rite. I have learned and grown and honestly, I owe a good portion of that to the expos and conferences I have attended.

Many of you have been to multiple shows I am sure. I cannot see how it would ever get old! With new technology emerging so fast – like IoT, industry 4.0, and new sustainable materials and extended-shelf-life films coming out – the industry is growing faster than the plans for iPhone XI. The bottom line? We do it for the consumer. And friends, that right there is worth it.

So wish me luck, and if you see me on this journey, please stop and introduce yourself. Oh, and if you are new like me, check out the "New to the Show" tips here:

Ready, set, go!