3 Record-Breaking Expos Signal Optimism for Continued Industry Growth

Despite news this yr that has portrayed trade show attendance as being down overall, some events are clearly beating the percentages. Three recent record-breakers—PACK EXPO International, PRINTING United Expo and Equip Expositionare sending a message of overwhelming positivity for the event industry’s future, with attendance surpassing pre-pandemic levels and business booming on the show floor.

PACK EXPO International 2022

Held in person Oct. 23-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago for the primary time in 4 years, PACK EXPO International, the packaging industry’s most vital show, drew greater than 44,000 attendees, eclipsing the 2018 event.

“The success of PACK EXPO is a testament to our industry’s continued growth in addition to our commitment to bringing the industry together to share cutting-edge innovations,” said Jim Pittas, president and CEO of The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI), which owns and produces the show. “No other event this yr showcased so many end-to-end solutions, offering attendees the whole lot they should compete in a changing marketplace.”

PACK EXPO International opened its doors to attendees able to do business after years of consistent growth. Based on the PMMI State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery report, the marketplace for packaging machinery broke the $15 billion mark this yr, a rise of 40% since 2019.

Buyers got here in significant numbers, and a pair of,200 exhibitors showcased ground-breaking packaging and processing innovations over 1.2 million net square feet at McCormick Place.

Improving operations, reaching sustainability goals, and testing recent innovations are only a number of of the drivers that brought consumer packaged goods and life sciences corporations to PACK EXPO International.

“We come to PACK EXPO to find ways to reinforce our operations, especially from a sustainability standpoint,” said Alexander Clarke, quality engineer at Bath & Body Works. “We’re in search of sustainable equipment, options for recyclability and end-of-line customization.”  

Sara M. Carrio, president of Pachitos Ice Cream, attended the show in search of critical solutions to enhance their operations.

“We got here to PACK EXPO to ascertain out wrapping machinery, and we’ve already closed on about $30,000 price of deals in our first day here,” Carrio said.

Exhibitors found the show equally rewarding.

“The show was thoroughly attended, and the end-user base was wanting to come back and see equipment in person,” said Jeff Kaplan, vp of integrated systems at Hamrick Packaging Systems. “For our industry, the economy looks like it is going to be robust in 2023, with customers acting on buying automation and never just talking about it.”

Mario Mazzotta, vp of sales and marketing for Standard-Knapp, was pleased with the traffic and leads from the show.

“Great PACK EXPO!” Mazzotta said. “We had a record day on Monday with a double-digit increase in leads from previous PACK EXPO shows.”

‍PACK EXPO International’s events and academic programs were also highlights of the show.

A record-breaking Packaging and Processing Women’s Leadership Network breakfast brought together nearly 1,000 professionals to listen to Dawn Hudson, former chief marketing officer on the National Football League and former president and CEO of Pepsi Cola North America, discuss her experiences within the workforce. The event was designed to advance the long run of ladies within the packaging and processing industry.

PACK EXPO International also held greater than 120 education sessions, starting with the one-day Emerging Brands Summit and continuing throughout the event at Innovation Stage, Processing Innovation Stage, PACK to the Future Stage, The Forum and Reusable Packaging Learning Center.

Meanwhile, developing the long run packaging and processing workforce was a top priority at PACK EXPO International, with greater than 1,500 students in attendance—probably the most within the history of the event. Students enjoyed the show’s Future Innovators Robotics Showcase, educational Amazing Packaging Race and Students PACK the Expo programs.

PRINTING United Expo 2022

PRINTING United Expo, the most important event in printing and graphic arts, was held in person Oct. 19-21 on the Las Vegas Convention Center for the primary time since 2019 and overwhelmingly exceeded expectations, in line with show officials. Drawing people from 121 countries, the show’s attendance was 7% higher than the 2019 show in Dallas, which had near 30,000 people in attendance.

Bringing the community together again has revitalized the industry, in line with Mark J. Subers, president of PRINTING United Expo.

“The grins, enthusiasm and energy were simply off the charts,” Subers said. “I’ve truly never seen this amount of engagement from a show—ever.”

Subers attributed the expo’s resounding success to attendees and exhibitors who engaged on the show, the product launches, the live demonstrations and the keynote presentations, in addition to the title sponsor, HP, and other sponsors.

A complete of 701 exhibitors from world wide occupied 1 million square feet of floor space at this yr’s show. Of special note, global CEOs, managing directors and probably the most senior-level leaders were in attendance this yr supporting business, digital, apparel, digital textile, packaging, mailing and achievement, and graphics/wide-format spaces.  

From an attendance standpoint, PRINTING United Expo has outpaced expositions in other industries this yr in total registration by roughly 25%, based on figures recently provided by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

Moreover, PRINTING United Expo freight exceeded 5 million kilos at this yr’s event.

“Certainly one of the tremendous reasons this yr’s event was so successful is due to the entire equipment running multiple substrates and soft goods on the show floor,” Subers said. “That is what attendees have indicated they desired to see and experience, and the exhibitors delivered.”

Attendees and exhibitors of PRINTING United Expo raved concerning the experience.

Hugh Halpern, director of the Government Publishing Office (GPO), was excited to have the chance to attend the show along along with his teammates.

“We saw amazing recent technology and got to fulfill a lot of GPO’s vendors,” Halpern said. “We were also in a position to meet with most of the firms which have worked with GPO prior to now and renew those relationships, in addition to make some recent ones.”

The very best word to explain PRINTING United Expo is “wow,” in line with Deborah Hutcheson, director of strategic business development and distribution at Agfa.

“The show was a hive of activity—you possibly can literally feel the joy, as everyone was glad to be back together again after three years,” Hutcheson said. “The Agfa booth was overflowing with customers and prospects anxious to see the newest technology Agfa offers.”

Lance Martin, vp of selling at MBO America & Komori America, was delighted to take part in PRINTING United Expo again and impressed with the turnout.

“This yr, we celebrated the powerful brands of Komori and MBO in the identical booth,” he said. “Across all three days, our booth was filled with corporations from packaging, business print and specialty segments all trying to find a wide selection of automation solutions to assist navigate our transforming industry.”  

Ross Hunter, president of ROQ.US, described PRINTING United Expo as a “pivotal harbinger for the industry.”

The message? We’re back—the energy, the fervour, the tech, the leadership, the community—and we’re here for it,” Hunter said.

Throughout the expo, PRINTING United Alliance, which produces the show, hosted members and people seeking to learn more concerning the association at its member booth and lounge on the show floor. The alliance is the most important, most comprehensive printing and graphic arts association within the industry.

Moreover, the show featured educational programming, including several keynotes, hands-on training and demonstrations and networking pavilions.

Next yr’s PRINTING United Expo will happen on the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Oct. 18-20, 2023.

Equip ExpositionEquip Exposition 2022

Equip Exposition, the international landscape, outdoor living and equipment exposition, had the most important participation in its 40-year history. The expo welcomed 25,000 attendees and exhibitors to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 18-21, hailing from 50 U.S. states and 49 countries. Moreover, all indoor and outdoor exhibit space available was sold out for each Equip Exposition and the co-located Hardscape North America.

“This yr’s numbers show the industry is powerful and optimistic about 2023,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Equip Exposition and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which owns the trade show. “The industry continues to innovate and convey recent technologies to markets, evidenced by the key product announcements, education and networking that went on.”

The 2022 show unveiled a recent brand and fresh experiences for its participants.

“This yr we shook up the programming a bit and introduced a number of recent ideas, from a gap welcome reception and recent interactive educational sessions to Mulligan’s 5K Fun Run & Walk, a coffee bar and an expanded Outdoor Demo Yard,” Kiser said.

Other changes this yr included landscaper educational sessions organized by Landscape Management magazine, in addition to recent partnerships with the Pool & Hot Tub Association and the Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals. Dealer education partners included Bob Clements International, the Equipment and Engine Training Council and Power Equipment Trade magazine.

Other education partners included The Irrigation Association, the Skilled Grounds Management Society, Davey Tree Expert Co. and the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop, which covered ways attendees could expand their businesses. 

Original recent programming included timely topics resembling The California Equation, specializing in the impact that regulatory changes to equipment within the West are going to have on the industry nationwide. 

Greater than 4,000 people turned out on the first-ever Welcome Reception at Louisville Slugger Field. Nearly 250 participated within the inaugural Mulligan’s 5K Fun Run & Walk over the Big 4 Pedestrian Bridge, which was sponsored by Ariens and raised funds for the Kentucky Humane Society. 

Records were also set with sponsorship sales and promoting sales for equip magazine.

Next yr’s Equip Exposition, which returns to the Kentucky Exposition Center, can be held Oct. 18-20, 2023. 

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