Designed to deliver as many innovations and jam as much information and research into four days as possible, PACK EXPO International 2022 is set for Oct. 23-26 in Chicago, where new features and pavilions will be among the perks for attendees.

More than 2,000 exhibitors will be at McCormick Place, showing off packaging and processing technologies and solutions for more than 40 vertical markets.

“It is vital for the packaging and processing industries to come together and share innovations, connect with colleagues, hear from experts and see machinery in action,” said Jim Pittas, president and chief executive officer for PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, which produces PACK EXPO.

Pittas called the trade show the most efficient and effective way for the industry’s professionals to connect and find out about the latest modernization efforts.

“No other event this year will showcase entire production line solutions and offer attendees everything needed to compete in a changing marketplace,” he said.

New in 2022

Organizers of this year’s event also unveiled plans for several inventive additions to the trade show experience.

One exhibit, dubbed PACK to the Future, showcases the history and impact of packaging and processing, as well as what’s ahead. Plus, the stage set up in that area of the show floor will feature free presentations from industry experts, covering topics such as smart packaging, innovative sustainability initiatives and the circular economy.

Another service called PACK Match helps professionals in attendance by providing them with personalized, one-on-one guidance free of charge, connecting attendees with the suppliers they need to meet.

On the educational front, PACK EXPO will debut a one-day Emerging Brands Summit. The program, which features expert advisors, was put together to help founders and leaders at manufacturing startups, whether they are seeking growth through in-house facility build or outsourced arrangements with contract manufacturers and packagers.

This year’s trade show also will introduce a new competition, PACK Challenge, in which high school teams compete in a machine-building contest. Sponsored by PepsiCo, the competition will award the winning team $6,000 and the title of best in show. Plus, high school teams can compete in three other categories: filler performance, engineering method/most innovative design, and marketing and sales. The teams can then take their machines back to their schools for other students to utilize.

The Processing Zone on the show floor is expanding in 2022, as organizers incorporate a new Processing Innovation Stage, where attendees will learn about breakthroughs in processing and packaging integrated systems and solutions.

Elsewhere, the new Industry Speaks stage will showcase experts from the PACK EXPO’s partner program.   Speakers will dig into hot button topics and trends across a number of industry sectors.

Pavilions aplenty

Organizers describe PACK EXPO’s seven pavilions as “shows within a show.” And the subgenre sections of the event are getting some upgrades, as well.

This year marks the premiere of the Logistics Pavilion. It’s there where attendees can find out more about the intricacies of getting products from their manufacturers to consumers. The area set aside for logistics will cover topics such as e-commerce, the supply chain, warehousing, fulfillment, distribution and transportation.

The show also gave a new name and format to its Healthcare Packaging Pavilion. The life sciences section of the show will focus on innovations in pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and medical devices.

Additionally, PACK EXPO is bringing back several of its popular pavilions from years past, including the PACKage Printing Pavilion, where digital printing and converting, labeling, coding and marking technologies will be highlighted by experts in that field.

Companies that need new options and ideas for their containers can find out what’s possible at the Containers and Materials Pavilion. Some of the featured innovations will deal with areas such as sustainability goals, brand refreshes and new products. The pavilion also is the place to find a showcase of award-winning packaging solutions.

A separate area – the Reusable Packaging Pavilion – will focus on packaging solutions that reduce waste, cut costs and bolster efficiency within supply chains.

Other featured sections of the show floor are the confectionery, workforce development and association partner pavilions.

Areas of interest

One of the event’s annual features, The Forum is bringing three innovation stages to PACK EXPO 2022. The stages will provide those in attendance with quick presentations on breakthrough technologies and techniques, covering a number of industry solutions.

Moreover, The Forum schedule includes interactive sessions, small group discussions and opportunities for attendees to get specific questions answered.

The four-day event in Chicago also gives attendees networking opportunities and special events to include in their experience.

On top of all the show itself has to offer, PMMI shared it will host popular training workshops to coincide with the event, as well.

More information and trade show details are available online at the PACK EXPO website.