Last week, we attended PACK EXPO East in Philadelphia. Industry events like this can sometimes be a bit overwhelming due to the physical size of the space, massive crowds of attendees, and the number of exhibits. We didn’t find Pack Expo East to be like that at all. PACK EXPO East provides an opportunity to interact with a large, but not overwhelmingly large, network of packaging industry suppliers and manufacturers, as well as brands looking for partnerships on their next project or product line. There were 6,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors in 100k square feet at this year’s PACK EXPO East. Compare that to PACK EXPO International, which will have 50,000 attendees and over 2,500 exhibitors in just about 1.2 million square feet, and it’s easy to see why PACK EXPO East exists in the first place.
The smaller scale of PACK EXPO East, as compared to PACK EXPO International or PACK EXPO Las Vegas, provides a more intimate experience where you can engage in in-depth conversations with the suppliers, manufacturers, and other attendees. That’s what these events are all about. Instead of waiting around for long periods of time in hopes of securing a minute or two of a representative’s time, we were able to spend as much or as little time as we wanted speaking with the various representatives at the exhibits. There was never a feeling of being rushed through an equipment overview or demonstration.
Case Mason prides itself on providing excellent customer service and customized solutions to each of our clients, so the more intimate, personal feel of PACK EXPO East meshes well with our company culture. We place a great amount of stock in our client and supplier relationships, and events like PACK EXPO East are where some of those relationships are first formed. As an attendee, you’re able to see firsthand how suppliers and manufacturers interact with potential clients. From those interactions, you can gauge how well they treat their clients and if they would be a quality business to partner with.
Events like PACK EXPO East present an opportunity to stay current on industry standards and innovations. All of the newest packaging technology is on full display and the manufacturers are eager to show off their latest and greatest machinery. It’s always interesting to see what kind of innovations have been made since the last EXPO and if some of the new technology would be the right fit, both financially and operationally, in our facilities.
This year, in particular, we noticed that there were a lot of robotics exhibits. It’s amazing to see how versatile modern robotics technology has become. Aside from the obvious curb appeal, robotics provide a wide array of capabilities that can transform packaging operations. We saw robots of all shapes and sizes that allow for a virtually limitless amount of production tasks to be completed with ease and great efficiency. Robotics technology will only continue to move forward and it’s going to be fascinating to keep an eye on as we are always looking for new ways to improve throughput and efficiency.
Even if you leave PACK EXPO East without plans to order a new piece of machinery or without a long list of potential clients, you will definitely walk away with more industry knowledge and connections than you arrived with. By simply taking the time to listen to what different exhibitors had to say and observing their machinery or products in action, it sparked a few ideas on how we can improve our capabilities. We’ll definitely be back for the 2020 show!