Craft beer brands learned how important the packaged, off-premise channel was during the pandemic, but it’s also a business with a lot of hurdles. The grocery store shelf is packed, the distribution relationship is a marriage and there’s so much more equipment to purchase and to learn how to use and maintain — bottle fillers, canning lines, seamers, labelers, various washing and drying machines, accumulation tables, conveyors, case packers, uncasers, case erectors, partition inserters, palletizers, depalletizers, OMG.
How do you even start to understand the scope of the packaging industry?
I highly suggest one important event. The packaging and processing industries are set to come together to share innovations, connect with colleagues, hear from experts and see machinery-in-action at the most comprehensive packaging and processing show in the world in 2022, PACK EXPO International (Oct. 23-26, 2022; McCormick Place, Chicago), produced by PMMI.
PMMI is the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute. It’s a trade association focused on connecting goods producers with packaging and processing technologies. The organization puts on a variety of great tradeshows under its Pack Expo umbrella where brewers and other product makers can inspect the latest packaging tech. From a recent press release:
“Registration numbers for this year’s show are strong and indicate the industry is ready to come together and see new packaging and processing innovations first-hand from over 2,000 exhibitors,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “PACK EXPO International is the most effective and efficient way to find solutions for over 40 vertical markets all under one roof.”
At PACK EXPO International, manufacturers at every stage of the packaging line will be exhibiting products targeted specifically at craft breweries. It’s really the perfect place to see all these unique packaging products next to each other. Also, this 2022 event will also offer more than 100 free educational sessions, so brewers can learn the packaging and processing side of the business. If you’re going, I highly suggest you use My Show Planner to search for products and exhibitors, view the schedule of educational sessions and even schedule appointments with exhibitors prior to heading to Chicago.
To give our craft beer pros an idea for how expansive this show really is, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest events happening at PACK EXPO International 2022. See below, and then maybe go.
“We are excited to offer so many new and returning show features, reflecting the evolving needs of the packaging and processing industry over the past four years,” says Laura Thompson, vice president, trade shows, PMMI.
PACK to the Future
PACK to the Future is an interactive exhibit new to PACK EXPO International celebrating the role of packaging and processing throughout history and the impact it is poised to have on our future. This curated exhibit includes historical equipment, materials, and photographs spanning 250 years, journeying through the evolution of packaging and processing, and highlighting how the industry developed alongside civilization. This exhibit will be in the West Building at booth W-20001.
The PACK to the Future Stage will provide thought-provoking sessions on groundbreaking industry innovations and features free presentations by industry experts on advances in pharmaceutical and cannabis packaging, wireless factory automation, sustainable alternatives, smart packaging, artificial intelligence, and more. The PACK to the Future stage will be in the West Building at booth W-20052.
The Processing Zone
The Processing Zone at PACK EXPO International will house the widest variety of food and beverage processing equipment. Start the search for front-of-the-line solutions such as homogenizing, heat treating, forming/sizing, and coating in The Processing Zone, located in the Lakeside Center at booths LU-7000-LU-7799.
The Processing Innovation Stage (booth LU-7130), located in the Processing Zone, will focus on the latest food and beverage processing breakthroughs.
PACK Match at PACK EXPO International
This complimentary consultation makes its PACK EXPO International debut, providing attendees personalized, one-on-one guidance to locate targeted solutions. PACK Match Advisors are available for 30-minute virtual consultations prior to the show to connect attendees with the right suppliers. Attendees must sign-up prior to October 14 to take advantage of this service.
PACK Challenge, sponsored by PepsiCo, is a first of its kind end-to-end packaging competition bringing six high school teams together for a machine-building competition at PACK EXPO International. In addition, Belden will sponsor the Friends & Family reception on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 3-5 p.m. at booth W-17000.
Industry Speaks Stage
Association Partner thought leaders from multiple industry verticals will present the latest industry trends on the Industry Speaks stage, addressing the latest hot button topics and industry trends such as sustainability, remote access, supply chain solutions, augmented reality, operational efficiency, and more. The Industry Speaks stage will be located within the Association Partner Pavilion at booth N-4565.
New Pavilions at PACK EXPO International
- The Healthcare Packaging Pavilion: Life sciences is an important focus for PACK EXPO International, and now this key market segment is positioned as it should be – as an integral part of PMMI’s flagship show. This “show within a show” in the West Building will house innovations for pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and medical devices. Located in the West Building at booths W-12000 – W-20099.
- The Logistics Pavilion: With the boom in e-commerce, The Logistics Pavilion will be the place to find targeted solutions related to the supply chain, including warehousing, fulfillment, distribution logistics services, and transportation providers. Located in the North Building.
- The PACKage Printing Pavilion: This exciting area in the South Building features digital printing and converting, labeling, coding, and marking technologies.
- The Containers and Materials Pavilion: Located in the West Building, it is a prime destination for companies looking for new materials solutions to address sustainability, refresh a brand, launch new products, and broaden appeal.
- The Showcase of Packaging Innovations® Sponsored by WestRockAward-nominated packaging solutions will be on display and located within The Containers and Materials Pavilion, booth W-20052.
- The Confectionery Pavilion: Home to the latest trends and technologies relating to aeration, batch refining, shaping, cluster production, and more. Located in the South Building (booths S-2284 – S-2895) and sponsored by the National Confectioner’s Association (NCA).
- The Candy Bar Lounge, hosted by The National Confectioners Association (NCA), and sponsored by Syntegon Packaging Technology, LLC., offers a place for casual networking and idea sharing. Located within the Confectionery Pavilion in the South Building.
- The Reusable Packaging Pavilion: Explore reusable transport packaging products and services and see innovative reuse solutions from over 30 exhibitors. Sponsored by the Reusable Packaging Association, this pavilion will be in Upper Lakeside at booths LU-6700 – LU-6999.
- PMMI U Workforce Pavilion: Located in the West Hall Concourse, this destination offers resources to strengthen your current workforce and grow the existing workforce. Learn about PMMI U offerings, including popular training workshops. Schools will present mechatronics, packaging, and processing offerings, and you can meet students interested in careers in the industry.
- Association Partner Pavilion: This pavilion houses over 30 leading associations dedicated to advancing the packaging and processing industry, offering significant resources, insights, and expertise all in one central location within the North Hall at booths N-4510 – N-6102.
Even More Free Show Floor Education
- The Forum at PACK EXPO will feature 45-minute learning sessions, open to all attendees, on the latest industry trends. Sessions will be interactive, including activities, small group discussions, and Q&A sessions. Located in the North Hall at booth N-4543.
- The Innovation Stages, with three stages located on the show floor, these free 30-minute seminars on breakthrough technologies and techniques will focus on a wide range of industry-specific solutions. Innovation stages are in the North Hall at booths N-4560, N-4580, N-4585.
Reusable Packaging Learning Center
- Learn the latest trends and benefits of reusable packaging, in the Lakeside Upper Building, booth LU-6737. Discover how implementing a reusable packaging system can improve material handling performance, reduce operating costs, create new economic values, and lower environmental impacts in your supply chain. For more information and a list of sessions, click here.
PACK EXPO International offers programs and activities aimed at getting students excited about careers in packaging.
- Future Innovators Robotics Showcase — See Chicago-area high school robotics teams showcase their design, engineering, and troubleshooting skills. Located in the North Hall at booth W21028.
- The Amazing Packaging Race — In this fun and educational event, teams from colleges and universities in North America race around the PACK EXPO International show floor to complete tasks at the booths of participating exhibitors. Sponsored by Emerson.
- CareerLink Live — CareerLink, PMMI’s online job board, is going live at the show. This is an opportunity for PMMI members and CPA, OMAC, and IoPP member companies to meet with students and veterans pursuing careers in packaging and processing during one-on-one informational interviews to take place at the show.
Develop Your Existing Workforce at PACK EXPO International:
PMMI is offering popular training workshops in Chicago to coincide with PACK EXPO International
- Risk Assessment Workshop 21-22
- Certified Trainer Workshop: Oct. 23-24 and Oct. 25-26
- Fundamentals of Field Service: Oct. 23-24
Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network (PPWLN) Breakfast:
PPWLN serves to recruit, retain, and advance women’s careers in packaging and processing. Registered attendees of PACK EXPO International are invited to the annual PPWLN Breakfast on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Hear from keynote speaker Dawn Hudson, former Chief Marketing Officer at the National Football League and CEO of Pepsi Cola North America, on her experiences in the workforce. This year, the PPWLN networking event is sponsored by: Emerson, ID Technology, Morrison Container Handling Solutions, Plexpack Corp., Septimatech Group Inc., and SMC Corporation of America. To RSVP for the event click here.
PACK gives BACK
PACK EXPO’s annual benefit concert, PACK gives BACK returns to Chicago in 2022 on Monday, Oct. 24. Guests will enjoy pre-show networking starting at 4:30 p.m. with refreshments and appetizers followed by a performance at 5:30 p.m. by the multi-megamillion-selling rock band, Styx. Styx draws from over four decades of barn-burning chart hits, joyous singalongs, and hard-driving deep cuts such as, Renegade, Come Sail Away, Lady, Blue Collar Man, Too Much Time On My Hands, Mr. Roboto, Fooling Yourself, and The Grand Illusion. Tickets are $95 each. Take advantage of the 10-for-9 deal to treat customers or business partners to the show. Purchase nine tickets and the tenth is free. Rockwell Automation is the title sponsor and proceeds benefit PMMI Foundation. To buy tickets and for more information, click here
The PMMI Foundation provides financial support for packaging and processing education throughout the U.S and Canada. Since its inception in 1998, the PMMI Foundation has given more than $2.3 million to strengthen the workforce within the packaging and processing industry.
Young Professional’s Networking Event
The Emerging Leaders Network will host an evening event for young professionals on Monday, Oct. 24 from 7:30-10:30 p.m., sponsored by Beckhoff Automation LLC at Punch Bowl Social in downtown Chicago. PACK EXPO International badge is required for entry. Find out more details or RSVP here.
The Technology Excellence Awards
These awards will recognize the most innovative technologies not yet shown at a previous PACK EXPO. Attendees can vote onsite, on the app, or online for their favorite finalists selected in specific market segments.
PACK EXPO Green
The PACK EXPO Green Program is the commitment of PACK EXPO and all its partners, vendors, and exhibitors working together to create a more sustainable world. Learn more about the available resources to aid and advance your company’s unique sustainability goals.
The one-day Emerging Brands Summit, brought to you by PMMI Media Group, will launch at PACK EXPO International 2022. This new program is aimed at founders and leaders of start-up manufacturing companies looking to scale their brand to larger production through either in-house facility build out or outsourced relationships with contract manufacturers and packagers. Exhibitors will include packaging machinery, packaging materials, processing equipment, and contract manufacturers and packagers.
The Industry Meets at PACK EXPO International
Industry Meets brings together industry partners and their audiences as they host their meetings, conferences, and receptions in conjunction with PACK EXPO International. We are currently welcoming the following groups:
- 3-A’s Hygienic Equipment Design meeting
- Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association — Smart Packaging: The Transformational Marketing Tool event
- The Association of Plastic Recyclers — Plastic Package Design to Meet 2025 Circularity Commitments
- Cold Pressure Council Annual Conference
- CPA, The Association for Contract Packagers & Manufacturers — Meet & Greet Reception
- Flexible Packaging Association — Flexible Packaging Crash Course, sponsored by the Flexible Packaging Association’s Emerging Leadership Council
- International Bottled Water Association’s Annual Business Conference
- Institute of Packaging Professionals’ Fundamentals of Medical Device Packaging Course
- MHI Industry Group Sessions and Networking Reception
- National Fluid Power Association’s Fluid Power Forum
- OMAC — The Organization for Machine Automation and Control Member Meeting and Conference
With so much to see and experience at PACK EXPO International, first-time attendees can relax, and learn more about the show in the First Timers’ Lounge, sponsored by ProMach.