The first major in-person industry tradeshow in North America took place September 27 – 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada and saw the packaging and processing communities come together for one of the most important Pack Expo and co-located Healthcare Packaging Expos in its history, according to show producer PMMI (The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies). Over 23,000 attendees eager to find solutions to current challenges, engaged with over 1,500 exhibitors across four expansive halls encompassing over 740,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event also marked the largest tradeshow in the U.S. in 2021 thus far. “In a word, Pack Expo Las Vegas and the Healthcare Packaging Expo was a success,” said Jim Pittas, President and CEO of PMMI. “Exhibitors and attendees alike were energized by the number of people who attended and more importantly, the business conducted from the moment we opened the doors on Monday.”
As PMMI’s State of the Industry report highlights, 2020 was a record year for packaging machinery, with the total size of the market in the U.S. increasing to $12.3 billion, growing by 14.4%. In the case of U.S. domestic shipments, 14.7% growth reached $9.4 billion, as reported Jorge Izquierdo, VP of Market Development for PMMI, during Monday’s press briefing. This record year led to the industry’s readiness to come together to see the latest innovations in person, he added.
Event organizers also reported multiple examples of attendees who purchased new equipment immediately from exhibitors on the show floor. The most outstanding innovations on the show floor received Technology Excellence Awards on Tuesday afternoon, voted on by show attendees. The winners of the 2021 awards were Canovation in the Food and Beverage and Personal Care/Pharmaceuticals category for its CanReseal and P.E. Labellers in General Packaging for Simpl-Cut and Hiperbaric for General Processing for its HPP In-Bulk Technology.
The co-located events also featured over 80 free educational sessions. Hungry for new information, attendees took advantage of the opportunities at the Forum, Pack to the Future and Innovation Stages throughout the show floor. Many accessed digital showrooms and specific content online via Pack Expo Xpress, which debuted this year to extend the show’s reach beyond the convention center’s walls. All registered show attendees can continue to access Pack Expo Xpress online until Friday, November 19.
The return of The Processing Zone was particularly well received by both attendees and exhibitors. Thousands of attendees visited the North Hall to take a journey through the evolution of packaging and processing at Pack to the Future. The curated exhibit included 26 historic packaging machines dating from the late 1890s. The machinery was surrounded by imagery supplied by CPGs, museums and other major companies such as Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg, Hormel, Anheuser-Busch and Merck. Another highlight of the show’s second day saw nearly 500 industry professionals gather for the Packaging and Processing Women’s Leadership Network (PPWLN) breakfast.
PMMI heads east next year with registration now officially open for Pack Expo East, March 21 – 23, 2022 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Now in its fifth year, the three-day event returns to Philadelphia after a record-breaking Pack Expo East 2020 that featured 7,100-plus attendees and the tradeshow’s largest show floor to date.