This year’s Pack Expo is all about bang for your buck.

Strengthening brands, creating more efficient operations and meeting sustainability targets are common goals for the 21,000 expected attendees of the show, said Kate Achelpohl, director of member communications for the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, the organizer of Pack Expo.

“PMMI is creating an exposition  and an educational environment that addresses those goals, with show features, conference sessions and new programming and partnerships to maximize attendees’ travel time and dollars,” Achelpohl said.

Pack Expo highlights economics of sustainabilityThis year’s theme — Maximizing Performance, Sustainability & Economics — is reflected in 52 different conference sessions in 11 tracks, more than 1,200 exhibitors and a newly redesigned Web site that is 100% show-oriented.

Attendees can go to to create a customized map of the show floor and schedule appointments, plan their show attendance with PDA devices, review exhibitor news and lock in hotel rates.

Private-label address

Three keynote addresses are planned, featuring retail executives discussing private brands.

“Despite, or perhaps because of, today’s economy, private label brands are experiencing tremendous success,” Achelpohl said. “To help the packaging community better understand this important market and its growing needs, each keynote address will be delivered by a leading retail executive.

They include:

  • Doug Palmer, vice president of own brands for the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Montvale, N.J., on Oct. 5;
  • Mike Witynski, group vice president, own brands, SuperValu Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.; and
  • Steve Ryder, store design and planning director, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, which is owned by United Kingdom-based Tesco.

 Conference sessions

Attendees have 12 tracks to choose from:

  • Branding
  • Converting
  • Digital package printing
  • Economics
  • Intelligent coding
  • Legal landscape
  • Materials
  • Processing
  • Reusable packaging
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable Operations
  • Vision systems

Achelpohl said fresh produce audiences will be particularly interested in the sustainability and sustainable operations tracks.
New programs

Pack Expo is expanding last year’s Materials & Containers Pavilion by spotlighting packaging to use for new product launches, refreshing existing brands and improving sustainability scores with its Brand Zone.

The Association of Independent Corrugated Converters also plans to hold its 2009 annual meeting and International Package Design Competition Oct. 5-7 at the MGM Grand Hotel in conjunction with Pack Expo.

The Reusable Packaging Association also plans to facilitate a four-session conference track and hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the show.

The Food Processing Suppliers Association also is co-located with Pack Expo.

“It’s all about value,” Achelpohl said. “PMMI wants attendees to get the best possible results from their trips to Pack Expo, so we’ve been working hard on partnerships and other ways to stretch your travel budget.”