LAS VEGAS — Not that the convention ever showed many signs of suffering from the recession, but Pack Expo 2013 drew high praise from exhibitors for its interest from buyers for fresh produce-related applications, its heavy show floor traffic and the massive deal-doing it allowed.

Show-goers often found it tough to get a clear path to walk very far — particularly on the first two days of the Sept. 23-25 show at the Las Vegas Convention Center — and exhibitors weren’t complaining.

“Monday and Tuesday were great, with high traffic. Leads appeared solid when discussing opportunities with customers,” said Brian Glasbrenner, senior strategic account manager for Vadnais Heights, Minn.-based H.B. Fuller Co.

“We are very, very pleased with the show. Both the absolute volume and quality of the customer activity we engaged in at the show was as strong as any show we can recall. We feel quite confident about our return on the investment in our participation,” said Marco Azzaretti, product marketing manager for Walla Walla, Wash.-based Key Technology.

Pack Expo 2013 proved particularly vital for Key as the company debuted its new Key brand identity, logo and visual image resulting from its merger with Visys earlier this year.

It was equally important for Automated Packaging Systems since it was launching six new products at the show.

“Pack Expo always proves to be a good show. Traffic in our booth was really good, and we are very pleased with the number of targeted prospects who stopped by for a demo,” said Lynne Greenfeather, marketing services manager for the Streetsboro, Ohio company that’s a regular exhibitor at Pack Expo. “Visitors were most interested in our new standup pouch product because of its flexibility and affordability, and I think (the fresh produce) audience will be particularly interested in the standup pouches and laminated bags we introduced.”

Some exhibitors of fresh produce-related items even went so far as to say they realized marked sales increases from the show.

“Compared to previous years, we saw an increased number of hot leads at the show this year. We are very pleased with the amount of people we spoke with and the potential new business we’ll receive because of this show,” said Jessica Ley, office and marketing coordinator for LaserSharp FlexPak Services, Vadnais Heights. “The majority of our leads have the potential to bring in large projects. Monday probably had the best foot traffic to our booth. Being near the entrance to the South Hall allowed us to have better foot traffic than in previous years.”

“The show garnered us more leads than last time. They are always quality leads. We once again sold machines off of the floor,” said Paul Irvine, chief executive officer of Toronto-based Plexpack Corp., on hand to demonstrate the company’s new Emplex Bag Sealer, model MPS7700-M.

Plexpack’s fresh produce company customers include suppliers of cherries and hot peppers.

“I was not at the show two years ago, but in talking with other Octal folks who were at the show in 2011, this year’s show was better attended and the quality of the attendees was very good. As for the foot traffic in our booth, it was better than we had expected, which was really encouraging. And the number and quality of leads we received was excellent,” said Mark Hunt, North American sales director for Octal Inc., Plano, Texas. “For us, the value of attending the show was getting time with both existing customers as well as prospective customers to better understand what’s important to them as it relates their PET packaging and how we at Octal can help them achieve their packaging objectives whether that be with our DPET sheet and/or our PET resin.”