PMMI Produces Largest PACK EXPO Las Vegas in History
Produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, PACK EXPO Las Vegas posted a record-breaking turnout, with nearly 32,000 attendees converging on the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). Attendees engaged with more than 2,300 exhibitors spread across a sprawling 1 million net square feet of exhibit space.
As the packaging and processing industry experiences steady growth, this edition earned the distinction of being the biggest PACK EXPO Las Vegas in history. The packaging machinery industry grew 3.4%, resulting in a market size of $10.2 billion in the U.S., according to PMMI's State of the Industry report. But the market has shrunk from 2020, which was a record year for packaging machinery, with the total size of the market in the U.S. at $12.3 billion.
In 2021, the last time PACK EXPO was held in Las Vegas, more than 23,000 attendees gathered to connect with more than 1,500 exhibitors covering 740,000 square feet of exhibit space at the LVCC, according to a release. In the midst of the COVID-era, it was arguably one of the largest trade shows in the U.S. in 2021.
"PACK EXPO Las Vegas was a huge win for the packaging and processing industry,” said PMMI President and CEO Jim Pittas. “From attendance to exhibition space to educational sessions – the show surpassed expectations to provide our largest, most comprehensive show to date. This is proof that the industry continues to thrive and show up to provide the most innovative, sustainable, effective solutions the world has to offer."
PMMI represents more than 1,000 manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, components and materials, as well as providers of related equipment and services to the packaging and processing industry, he added.
With an eye on capitalizing on this growth, exhibitors seized the opportunity to showcase and promote their latest innovations, connecting with key decision-makers in the packaging and processing sector.
Elise Wright, marketing and events manager at Ska Fabricating, emphasized the value of the event.
“PACK EXPO Las Vegas has been an invaluable platform for Ska Fabricating to connect and engage in meaningful discussions about packaging line automation,” she said. “This show not only showcases a myriad of solutions for the entire packaging industry but also fosters an environment where industry professionals can exchange ideas and insights."
Mark Padly, account manager at Provisur Technologies, echoed the sentiment. "The show has been fantastic for us, and being in the Processing Zone was perfect,” he said. “The traffic has been excellent, and we're having quality conversations with key decision-makers about their processing needs."
New and seasoned exhibitors alike seized the opportunity to forge new connections, unveil groundbreaking solutions and extract exceptional value from this year's PACK EXPO Las Vegas.
First-time Exhibitor Jon Timbers, chief sustainability officer at Epsilyte LLC, said that while his team didn't quite know what to expect at their first PACK EXPO Las Vegas, they found the experience to be effective.
“We connected with value chain members that we normally don't have a chance to connect with and discovered innovations, especially in sustainability, that we didn't know existed,” he said.
Mary Mayled, manager of marketing at Plastipak Packaging, Inc., said, "After years of being an attendee at PACK EXPO, making the decision to exhibit at PACK EXPO Las Vegas has brought us great value. The Containers and Materials Pavilion was the perfect venue to showcase our capabilities. The show traffic exceeded our expectations, and we are planning to be back!"
PACK EXPO Las Vegas attracted attendees from more than 40 vertical markets, seeking multifaceted solutions offered at the event.
Kyle Cloward, packaging manager at Mountain Country Foods, highlighted the diversity of needs.
"We're a pet food co-packer and came to PACK EXPO Las Vegas with a big group from Spanish Fork, Utah,” he said. “I'm here to see materials and containers while others from our team are focused on equipment."
Bright Innovation Labs VP of R&D Suzanne Dawis praised the event's comprehensive nature.
"I came to PACK EXPO Las Vegas to find new packaging and filling equipment and am excited by what I'm seeing on the show floor,” she said. “This might be the largest PACK EXPO I've attended. It's a well-put-together event with a good representation of industry suppliers which allows me to see so many solutions live and under one roof."
Ryan Besai Group, chief engineer at Bermudez Group Limited, shared his perspective of the show.
"Our group includes several companies and more than 28 brands in cookies, crackers, snacks and breads,” he said. “I'm at PACK EXPO Las Vegas to find automation and robotics solutions to take our operations to the next level."
Sustainability remained a central theme, with thousands of attendees visiting the new Sustainability Central exhibit to explore sustainable materials and machinery.
Brooke Ervin, packaging engineer at Mopar (Chrysler Service Parts Division), articulated her purpose.
"We came to PACK EXPO Las Vegas to find more sustainable packaging options, particularly returnable packaging,” she said. “This show is where we need to be."
The event also featured the Technology Excellence Awards, where attendees voted for the most outstanding innovations on the show floor.
PACK EXPO Las Vegas went beyond equipment and materials, offering more than 130 educational sessions and numerous networking opportunities. A highlight was the Packaging and Processing Women's Leadership Network breakfast, where keynote speaker Manjit Minhas shared insights on mentorship, entrepreneurship and constant learning.
Laura Thompson, Vice President of Trade Shows at PMMI, extended her gratitude.
"It takes coordination and participation from all parts of our industry to pull together an event of this size and caliber,” she said. “We're extremely grateful to all involved in making this show a record-breaking success."
Following PACK EXPO East, the PMMI calendar includes EXPO PACK México, which will be held June 4-7, 2024 in Mexico City; PACK EXPO International, Nov. 3-6, 2024, in Chicago; and PACK EXPO Southeast, taking place March 10-12, 2025, in Atlanta.