PMMI, producer of Pack Expo, reports the Las Vegas show attracted more than 26,000 attendees, 1,559 exhibitors and occupied nearly 630,000 net sq. ft. at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sept. 26-28, breaking previous event records.

The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), Reston, Va., states that its Pack Expo Las Vegas show, Sept. 26-28, was more of a winner than any casino gambler in town. In fact, PMMI president and CEO Charles D. Yuska calls it the most dynamic show the association produced in Las Vegas. “Record-breaking only begins to describe it. Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011 brought integrated processing and packaging innovations to more than 40 vertical markets, including food, beverage, confectionery, pharmaceutical and baking and snack,” he adds.

Preliminary figures show that 2011 attendance figures were about 15% greater than in 2009, and a jump of nearly one-third in international attendance, including Canada. The net square footage was up more than 20%.

PMMI was intent on ensuring that this show, the eighth since the every-other-year show launched in 1995, presented a range of new features and activity. Key among them was the arrival of The Processing Zone, a special pavilion launched at Pack Expo International 2010 that featured processing innovations.

Also key to Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011 was a customer-centric approach that helped attendees easily tailor the event to their particular needs. Among the most highly-regarded features was the first-ever Pack Expo Leadership Lecture, featuring General Colin Powell (USA, ret.), who spoke to more than 1,000 people on the art of leadership.

Attendees and exhibitors connected at lounges dedicated to specific vertical niches, such as The Baking-Snack Break (endorsed by the Snack Food Association (SFA), Arlington, Va., and sponsored by Blueprint Automation, Kliklok-Woodman and Yamato), The Candy Bar (endorsed by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), Washington, D.C.) and The RX Lounge. Each lounge included an “Ask the Expert” feature and Innovation Stage presentations in which exhibitors presented their latest solutions to common packaging and processing challenges. Receptions took place on Sept. 26, giving attendees and exhibitors additional networking opportunities.