PMMI, the Reston, Va.-based Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, and owner and producer of the Pack Expo Portfolio of Trade Shows, is gearing up for Pack Expo International 2016, which will take place Nov. 6-9 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event will be co-located with Pharma Expo, a joint venture with the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE).

“We are expecting the 2016 installment of Pack Expo and Pharma Expo to break records across the board. The size of the show, the number of exhibiting companies and total attendance are all projected to surpass past shows,” said Jim Pittas, PMMI senior vice president of trade shows, in a statement. “We are projecting the number of exhibiting companies to grow at least 19 percent from the 2014 show, providing attendees the opportunity to forge strong business relationships through face-to-face interaction with industry leaders. No other show in North America will offer the depth and breadth of solutions providers like Pack Expo and Pharma Expo.”

The four-day event will feature more than 2,300 exhibiting companies and span more than 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space at McCormick Place. PMMI expects to welcome 50,000 attendees. Registration for Pack Expo allows visitors full access to the Pharma Expo show floor at no additional cost.

“Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo is where companies come to introduce the industry’s latest processing and packaging advances. Having more than 20 vertical markets represented allows for an unsurpassed showcase of production solutions, unavailable in any other setting,” Pittas said.

In addition to the connections and innovations for business solutions, the show also will provide learning opportunities through a series of presentations taking place at four Innovation Stages located on the show floor. These learning hubs will offer 30-minute seminars on ideas and technologies conducted by exhibitors and industry thought leaders at Pack Expo.

On the Pack Expo side of the tradeshow, three stages, located in the Grand Concourse, will bring together industry leaders and subject matter experts for free educational programming addressing the most top-of-mind issues and trends.

Sessions will address various topics, including Internet of things, machinery safety, standards and technology to improve productivity, sustainability, flexible manufacturing systems, smart packaging, contract packaging, global packaging trends, digital print technology, multi-pack solutions, and ultrasonic technology.

Pharma Expo will host an additional Innovation Stage in the West Lobby addressing such innovations as blister packaging solutions, thin film flexible packaging, photostability testing, and protective packaging and serialization solutions.

“We know that our attendees have a lot to accomplish while at Pack Expo and Pharma Expo. With that in mind, the importance of offering valuable education on the show floor is a priority,” said Charles D. Yuska, president and chief executive officer of PMMI, in a statement. “The Pack Expo and Pharma Expo Innovation Stages give attendees access to an unparalleled range of processing and packaging education and innovations, conveniently located in close proximity to the exhibits.”

The opportunities for education will expand beyond the tradeshow floor with several show floor hosting opportunities, the association says. The following are some of the anticipated highlights:

  • The Reusables Learning Center, sponsored by the Reusable Packaging Association, will allow attendees a chance to learn about integrating reusables into the supply chain to help maximize profits and sustainability simultaneously.
  • The Beverage Cooler lounge, hosted by the International Society of Beverage Technologists and sponsored by Beumer Group, will offer a networking and learning center for the beverage industry.

  • The Baking & Snack Break lounge, hosted by B&CMA, will allow attendees from the baking and snack industry to gather and meet with subject matter experts.

  • The Candy Bar lounge, hosted by NCA, is a dedicated area for attendees in the confectionery industry to recharge, network and gather timely industry information.

  • The Showcase of Packaging Innovations, sponsored by The Dow Chemical Co., is where attendees from every vertical can view award-winning packaging from around the globe.

“Packaging has evolved over the years into vessels that not only protect the products inside but enhance them,” Yuska said. “The Showcase of Packaging Innovations at Pack Expo International spotlights the innovations and inspires future breakthroughs in design and technology.”

In addition, ISPE will host a dedicated conference program at Pharma Expo where attendees can learn about best practices for manufacturing operations, compliance trends and pharmaceutical packaging, all specific to pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The conference at Pharma Expo will focus on three tracks: manufacturing operations, compliance trends and pharmaceutical packaging.