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Pack Expo 2016 Recap

November 15, 2016

By David Peterson, Managing Partner of Plastics and Flexible Packaging

Last week I attended Pack Expo International at McCormick Place in Chicago with multiple team members from DRI. Pack Expo is the world’s largest processing and packaging show with over 45,000 attendees. With the recent World Series matchup of the Indians and the Cubs, I of course represented Cleveland by wearing my Tribe gear to the show. I was warmly welcomed with some banter by the people of Chicago, which was a great ice breaker for networking. Aside from that, I noticed new trends happening at the show, great companies, and innovative new technologies.

I have gone to several Pack Expo shows as an attendee, and this year I noticed the show seemed to be the busiest Monday through late Tuesday afternoon, with a good vibe and energy among the exhibit hall. One trend I am continuing to see is that companies no longer have business cards on display at their booths. While I would prefer to have the opportunity to exchange business cards, this could be a method to encourage more verbal communication at the booths.

Another great trend I noticed at Pack Expo for the entire industry is the collaboration between SPE and SPI. Together, they have created a new membership program that allows professionals belonging to SPI’s Brand Owners Council premium SPE memberships. This will offer a great opportunity for brand owners in the industry to have access to a network of plastics industry experts and the newest machinery and innovations across the market.

The Society of Plastics Engineers was founded in 1942 and is the largest plastics professional society in the world. It is a great source for networking, training, and information for plastics professionals around the globe.

The Plastics Industry Trade Association represents and promotes growth over all segments of the U.S. plastics industry. SPI works to strengthen global competitiveness, improve productivity, and pursue zero waste strategies.

In addition to the busy flow of attendees at the show, the floor of the exhibit hall is also always buzzing with machinery companies showcasing their impressive equipment. With over 21,000 exhibiting companies at Pack Expo, I was interested in companies concentrating on the continued growth of flexible packaging and machinery in terms of innovation. Two of those innovative companies who I felt were noteworthy at Pack Expo included Sidel and Clear Lam.

Sidel is a leading global provider of PET solutions for Liquid packaging, known for helping to package beverages enjoyed by millions around the world every day. With advancing technology, Sidel continues to innovate and offer products and services to meet consumer needs.

Clear Lam
As a developer and manufacturer of innovative flexible and rigid packaging materials, Clear Lam focuses on developing technologies that lower the impact on the environment. Clear Lam develops Flexible Films, Forming Films, and CL Polymers for multiple markets.

With the multitude of innovative technologies, and networking opportunities, Pack Expo 2016 was a great event to attend. If you were at the show and would like to share what or who you were impressed with, please comment or contact me!

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