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This year’s PackExpo was the biggest trade show in the US in 2021 so far! Over 23,000 attendees sought out solutions to their current challenges from over 1,500 exhibitors across 740,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 2020 was a record year for packaging machinery, with the market growing 14.4% compared to the previous year, according to the PMMI industry report. This record year heavily influenced what was featured at the show, and I interviewed our lead project manager Nathan to get his take on the event!

So, Nathan! Why did you choose to attend the Pack Expo?

It was an opportunity to get back into the swing of things. As you know, trade shows have been out of commission for a year and a half, if not a little longer, and this was a way to get back into it.

Why would you recommend brand owners go to the Pack Expo?

The Pack Expo is a great insight into what’s available and what’s new in the market as far as machinery and best practices go. If you’re looking to automate and use the latest technology, the Pack Expo is definitely where you’re going to find the best machines, latest technology and fully-automated solutions.

What is unique about this expo compared to other packaging conventions?

It’s highly focused on machinery, robotics and parts and packaging from the machinery standpoint.

What surprised you about the convention?

The lack of packaging suppliers.

What’s the most interesting innovation that you came across?

I found the double-sided pouch in person! Somebody was already showing it off, it was very similar to the one we mentioned in our blog. There were also cool recyclable options. Everyone is getting closer and closer to a recyclable laminated film, so it’s cool to see what’s on the horizon.

What was your favorite part?

Getting to be back at a trade show and be able to socialize with other people from the industry was awesome!

What would you change about it if you could?

I’d like to see more social aspects, and more ways of connecting with the other attendees.

What advice would you give to anyone attending the Pack Expo?

You can go for one day and knock it all out, depending on the focus and goal. I recommend planning out your route before you go.

What’s the best place that you’ve stayed in Las Vegas?

The best place that I have stayed, based on what I like about Vegas, I’d have to say Paris, just because I’ve stayed there the most. Everything is really nice and it’s got great restaurants, and it’s right in the heart of everything. Mandalay Bay is pretty cool, too, and it’s on the end of the strip. It takes longer to get other places, but you’re not near all the craziness as much, either. If you’re looking for a quieter Vegas experience, that’s the place.

Do you think you will go to the PackExpo next year? Let us know in the comments below!