This year's attendance of the biennial Pack Expo event, held in Chicago from 3 to 7 November , attracted fewer visitors than previous years.
This year's event attracted 71,957 visitors, compared to 75,920 in 2000. According to event organisers, PMMI, Pack Expo is the leading packaging technology exhibition, but the fall in attendance is bound to worry both industry leaders and PMMI.
Of the total visitors this year there were 46,789 attendees including 5,978 international visitors from 92 countries, who came to evaluate and compare the latest packaging technology. However, on the plus side, the conferencing programme was more successful, drawing a record 830 registrants.
This year's show included 2,007 exhibiting companies occupying a slightly reduced area of 1,296,925 net square feet of exhibit space.
"Over the next twelve months, PACK EXPO International attendees will purchase billions of dollars worth of packaging equipment, materials, components and containers," said Mark Garvey, PMMI show committee chairman and president of Garvey Corporation. "The proper measurements for a show's success are: did attendees find innovative packaging solutions, and were they ready to buy? The answer on both accounts was a resounding yes."
Pack Expo did manage to attract a relatively large number of international attendees with 5,978 visitors from 92 countries outside the United States. This total includes 736 visitors who attended as part of an official country delegation through the US Department of Commerce's International Buyer Program.
"We were pleased so many international attendees took the opportunity to visit Pack Expo International to solve their packaging challenges," said Charles Yuska, president of PMMI. "In addition to the business focus the show offers, PACK EXPO International has long served as an important venue for prestigious packaging organizations to meet and discuss industry issues."
This year, international packaging organisations such as the Confederation of Packaging Machinery Associations, Institute of Packaging Professionals, International Packaging Press Organization, the Packaging Education Forum, the Packaging Management Council, and the Flexible Packaging Association used the event as platform to promote their contributions to the industry.
Many of the current business trends within the industry were featured in the Conference. For three days, 830 conference attendees participated in education sessions dedicated to multiple tracks, including: Market Insights, Innovative Operations, Closure Considerations, Boosting Productivity, New Materials Choices, and more. This year's Conference programme featured three "Eye Opener" Breakfast Sessions with guest speakers from Georgia-Pacific, Ernst & Young and panelists from Wal-Mart, General Mills, Osram Sylvania Products, Inc, Automated Production Systems, Weyerhaeuser and ACNielson Homescan Consumer Insights sharing their thoughts on the expanding role of packaging in the global marketplace.
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) is a trade association whose 496 members manufacture packaging and packaging-related converting machinery in the United States and Canada. PMMI's vision is to be the leading global resource for packaging. Its mission is to improve and promote members' abilities to meet the needs of their customers.