Record number of exhibitors star at 2nd-largest Pack Expo

by Bryan Salvage
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CHICAGO — Even though Pack Expo International officially ends Nov. 5 at 3 pm (Central) at Chicago’s McCormick Place, the show’s co-producer—the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) — predicted before the show started on Sunday it would set some new records, thanks in large part to the debut of Pharma EXPO, co-produced by PMMI and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) that also took place at this site on the same dates, Nov. 2-5.

Both shows featured 2,400 processing and packaging solutions providers — the highest number of exhibitors ever recorded at any PACK EXPO event — and covered more than 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space.

“Attendee registration for the event is well ahead of where we were at this point in 2012, and we’ve significantly exceeded our projections for exhibitors and exhibit space,” said Jim Pittas, vice president, trade shows, PMMI, before the show began. “Pack Expo International 2014 and Pharma Expo will host over 20 percent more exhibitors than our 2012 event did.”

Pack Expo International exhibitors presented technologies for enhancing sustainability, efficiency, automation, food-safety initiatives and shelf impact throughout the Lakeside (East), North and South halls. In the West Hall, solutions providers exhibiting at Pharma Expo addressed the entire pharmaceutical lifecycle, exhibiting the latest processing and packaging technologies in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, biotech and medical device sectors. Both shows combined were expected to attract more than 50,000 attendees, including 7,000 international visitors from more than 120 countries.

Pack Expo and Pharma Expo attendees benefitted from seeing the technologies and applications other industries use to tackle challenges, Pittas said. Attendees had access to a wide range of world-class educational opportunities, much of it available free. Four different Innovation Stages, the Food Safety Summit Resource Center, The Reusables Learning Center and The Center for Trends and Technology were just several of the locations for learning, and they spotlighted the latest information on critical industry trends. In total, 143 free educational sessions were provided between the two shows. The Pharma Expo Conference, curated by ISPE, presented 36 sessions on topics such as pharmaceutical packaging, manufacturing operations and compliance trends. Although there was a fee to attend Pharma Expo Conference sessions, all Pack Expo and Pharma Expo participants were able to attend the keynote sessions gratis.

Several more PMMI-produced shows are set for next year. Pack Expo East debuts Feb. 16–18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia; Expo Pack Guadalajara 2015 will be held March 10–12, 2015, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; and Expo Pack México 2015 will take place June 16–19 in Mexico City, Mexico.

For more information on Pack Expo future shows, visit PMMI.org and Packexpo.com.
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