With a trade show that features 1,600 exhibitors and covers all aspects of the packaging industry, it might be understandable for the principal of a small or medium-sized business to feel a little overwhelmed. This year, Pack Expo is adding a new feature to help companies of any size find innovative packaging and processing solutions quickly and efficiently on the show floor. The SMB FastTrack Program will be featured at this year’s event at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sept. 23-25.

Pack Expo will bring together 26,000 attendees from around the world and will feature more than 650,000 square feet of exhibit space. The Pack Expo show floor will showcase state-of-the-art materials, machinery and methods for packaging and processing, from food and beverage to confectionery and pharmaceutical industries.

Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of PMMI, which owns and produces PACK EXPO, notes that small and medium-sized companies make up the majority of the global economy, but they are facing challenges in growing their businesses.

“The latest industrial outlook report from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) revealed that manufacturing firms with fewer than 50 employees expect sales to increase just 0.5 percent over the next 12 months, compared to a 1.6 percent projected increase among larger manufacturers,” he says. “Additionally, 57 percent of small manufacturers expressed a negative outlook, compared to 44 percent of medium-sized businesses and 47 percent of large businesses.

“In other words, SMBs are seeing market conditions that will make growth difficult – especially as they respond to increased demand for greater sustainability measures, and comply with new regulations emerging from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). SMBs must find solutions to enhance sustainability, ensure compliance and minimize costs in the most efficient manner possible,” Yuska adds.

Nevertheless, he notes, these smaller companies have the ability to overcome those challenges and continue to be profitable, even through rougher economic climates.

“SMBs have been at the forefront of innovation over the last century thanks to a relentless focus on streamlining operations, minimizing costs and delivering product profitably enough to grow and expand,” he says. “With less red tape than larger manufacturing organizations, small- and medium-sized processors have the agility to make purchase decisions with less lead time, speeding the implementation of new technologies.”

The FastTrack program is free to all qualified attendees, who must work for an industrial or consumer packaged goods company with annual revenues between $50 million and $500 million. Participants will receive a special guide to Pack Expo Las Vegas, including an official list of SMB FastTrack exhibitors that have committed to providing special financing, discounts or support for SMBs. The guide will also provide a map of the show floor, a list of restaurants on-site and other information that will help participants navigate the show. They will also have access to special on-floor education.

Participating attendees can use a special FastTrack Navigator planning tool to build a path to visit “must-see” features for small- and medium-sized businesses. The FastTrack Navigator will be an insert to the SMB FastTrack Sourcing Index — the official, exclusive directory for SMB FastTrack, sent pre-show and filled with information.

“The SMB FastTrack program will help these individuals make the most of their time at the show by providing resources geared to the particular requirements of SMBs,” says Yuska.


PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013

September 23 – 25, 2013

9:00 am – 4:00 pm daily

Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada USA



C-level executives (e.g. president, vice president, owner, managing director, CEO, CFO, COO) will qualify for the SMB FastTrack Platinum program. The Platinum program offers access to a Personal Equipment & Technology Sourcing Service prior to the show, unlimited use of a dedicated FastTrack Executive Lounge, and free advance show registration.

Along with the FastTrack program, Pack Expo will have several industry-specific pavilions designed to help attendees find specific solutions related to their business. At the Food Safety Summit Resource Center, sponsored by BNP Media (publisher of Independent Processor), attendees can get the latest information on the Food Safety Modernization Act, discover cutting-edge solutions and discuss food safety challenges with leading experts in the field. The Processing Zone will focus more on front-of-the-line solutions for the food industry.

For those looking to increase their knowledge through educational sessions, a number of seminars and one-on-one opportunities are available on the show floor. An Innovation Stage will feature 27 half-hour segments covering the latest topics and technologies for the packaging industry. The Reusable Packaging Association will be on hand at the Reusables Learning Center to help companies gather cost-saving benefits from their reusable packaging.

To qualify for the FastTrack program, participants must register for Pack Expo Las Vegas before August 26. For more information, go to www.packexpo.com/fasttrack or contact PMMI at fasttrack@pmmi.org.