(March 25) ARLINGTON, Va. — While some conventions have experienced a slowdown since September, Pack Expo International 2002 is gearing to be bigger than before.

This year’s show, Nov. 3-7 at McCormick Place in Chicago, will feature 204 new exhibitors — more than 1,600 exhibitors overall.

“Those 204 companies are new to the Pack Expo brand of trade shows and have never before exhibited at one of our shows,” Mark Garvey, show committee chairman for the Arlington-based Packaging Machinery Manufacturer’s Institute, said in a news release.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Commerce has selected Pack Expo International to participate in its International Buyer Program. This means that the Department of Commerce will promote the show around the world.

The department will provide a number of services, including working with U.S. embassies and consulates to encourage international attendance to the show; promotion through publications with overseas distribution; and offering export counseling for U.S. companies that need it.

In addition, during the show, the department will provide personnel at the show’s International Business Center to assist in matching international buyers with U.S. exhibitors. The department also will provide information to U.S. companies about government export assistance programs and will assist international buyers in purchasing and representation.

For its part of the deal with the department, the institute will produce multilingual promotional brochures, develop an overseas marketing program and produce an Export Interest Database that will contain information on the export interests of U.S. exhibitors.

For more information on the program or on the Pack Expo International show, visit www.packexpo.com or call (703) 243-8555. Interested parties may also e-mail expo@pmmi.org.