Pack Expo Las Vegas 2013 is set to be the largest edition of the show since it first opened in 1995. More than 1,600 processing and packaging solutions companies are on board to occupy more than 700,000 net sq. ft. of exhibit space at the Las Vegas Convention Center Sept. 23-25. Pack Expo Las Vegas 2013 promises to be bigger and better than ever according to PMMI: The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the owner and organizer of the show.

“With just two months before show time, Pack Expo is still growing,” said PMMI president and CEO Charles Yuska. “After expanding the show floor to accommodate supplier demand, we plan to add yet more exhibit space.

“Our exhibitor numbers are already up 15 percent, and the floor itself has expanded by 12 percent compared to the 2011 Las Vegas show,” Yuska said.

The trade-show floor will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. This year’s bigger-and-better show not only means more booth space, but more visitors, as well. Organizers say Pack Expo Las Vegas 2013 is on track to play host to its largest audience of attendees. Attendance is expected to exceed 26,000 manufacturing professionals from the baking and snack, beverage, confectionery, pharmaceutical and other industries – a 10 percent increase over 2011.

The three-day show offers attendees a showcase of state-of-the-art materials, machinery and methods for packaging and processing.

More than exhibits

Pack Expo Las Vegas is more than just a trade show, it offers attendees a substantial education program, as well. This year, however, there will be significant changes to the education program.

“We build Pack Expo shows around the attendees – they’re our customers, and they’re our exhibitors’ customers,” said Jim Pittas, PMMI vice president, trade shows. “The whole customer-centric approach to Pack Expo is based on meeting their needs. And among those needs are learning opportunities that fit their agendas.”

PMMI conducted an in-depth study of Pack Expo attendees, called Voice of the Attendee (VOA), following the 2011 show. The study showed that Pack Expo attendees value education at the show, when presented in the right way. VOA revealed a need for PMMI to rethink not just the topics but the location of the learning opportunities at the show, Pittas explained.

In response to the results of the study, all of Pack Expo Las Vegas programming will move to the show floor, and all educational sessions will be included in the show registration fee.

Learning hot-spots include:

Innovation Stage: Non-stop action in 27 half-hour segments delivered by experts, including the Alliance for Innovation and Operational Excellence, and covering the topics and technologies today’s industry needs.

The Center for Trends & Technology: Improving Production through Innovation, sponsored by Rockwell Automation. In addition to educational sessions from suppliers including Rockwell, Cisco, Microsoft and Motorola, visitors will see technology on display and have the chance to learn how it works with other equipment.

Food Safety Summit Resource Center: Visitors can learn more about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) here.

Clemson Univ.: Packaging Emporium Design for the Future sponsored by EskoArt: Clemson returns to PACK EXPO with another interactive experience to explore and reveal the impact of packaging designs on consumers.

Reusables Learning Center: The Reusable Packaging Association will show visitors the way to additional long-term, cost-saving benefits from reusable packaging.

There will also be in-booth education throughout the trade show floor. Exhibitor expertise will be front and center with educational sessions at their booths (schedules will be made available before the show).

Giving back

PMMI also announces the Pack gives Back opening reception, Monday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. to kick off the tradeshow. The event, held in the North Hall of the convention center and open to Pack Expo attendees for $25 a ticket, will feature a performance from musician Kenny Loggins. All money generated by ticket sales will support the K9s for Warriors charity.

“By donating proceeds to K9s for Warriors, this event will give us a chance to give back to the brave men and women who have made unimaginable sacrifices for all of us,” Yuska said.

K9s for Warriors is a charitable organization dedicated to providing service dogs to military troops and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress as a result of conflicts and war following 9/11. The program includes three weeks’ training and bonding for dogs and veterans at the K9s for Warriors facility in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

Representatives of K9s for Warriors will be in attendance along with veterans from the program.

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