Showtime: Revamped Anaheim events welcome plastics, medical, and packaging pros to SoCal

The West Coast's biggest advanced manufacturing show held at its biggest exhibition center gets even bigger in 2013. The Anaheim Convention Center will host seven collocated events February 11-14, providing exhibitors and conferences covering everything from prototyping and design to manufacture and packaging.

"[The collocated shows] are the largest, most comprehensive advanced manufacturing event in North America," said Joshua Dome, North American events director at show organizer, UBM Canon. "Design, processing, plastics, automation, packaging, and everything in between. There is no better opportunity to see such a comprehensive array of manufacturing technology."

UBM Canon, which is the parent company of PlasticsToday, has been organizing the event, and its forerunners, since 1985, giving it a familiarity to many attendees, but the organizer insists that the 2013 vintage has many new elements to surprise showgoers.

In a bid to provide what Dan Cutrone, UBM Canon's director of marketing for its events division, calls "indispensable thought leadership and content", the seven collocated trade shows will be complemented by an expanded conference, seminar and presentation program.

A new presentation theater in Hall E of the convention center will host a keynote presentation each day, starting on Feb. 12, with Thomas Frey; Innovation Editor, at The Futurist Magazine; senior futurist, DaVinci Institute; and author of "Communicating with the Future". At 11, Frey will offer a presentation entitled, "Innovation; a Futurist's View of Manufacturing."

Each day of the show, the presentation theater will also feature product teardowns, giving attendees a peak into the technological guts of several of today's most popular devices. Get inside a Animas Ping insulin pump, iPad Mini, Google Nexus, 7, and Samsung Galaxy S3.

Come for the exhibits, stay for the seminars
In addition to product teardowns and keynote presentations, Anaheim will also provide an expanded seminar program and new technology briefs. The MedTech Innovate and Advanced Manufacturing seminars each feature eight interactive learning forums, including tracks on bioresorbable polymers, lean manufacturing, rapid manufacturing, robotics, and more. 

For the first time, the WestPack event will include a seminar program, with speakers from Microsoft, Campbell Soup, Tetra Pak, and Ball. Topics covered include sustainability, 3D printing, smart packaging, and innovations in labeling and decorating.

Starting each day at 11, there will also be 25-minute Innovation Briefs at two locations on the show floor (booths #637-E  and #3541-C), including presentations on silicones for healthcare, drug eluting silicones, microbial barrier films, closed loop extrusion of silicone, robotics, reshoring, and 3D printed thermoform tooling.

The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI; Washington, DC) will also host a luncheon during the event, on Feb. 9. SPI President and CEO Bill Carteaux will discuss the economic state of the U.S. plastics industry, what federal public policy issues could impact plastics businesses in 2011, and the legislative outlook on the state level.

Feeling overwhelmed? There's an app for that
On top of all that, throw in the more than 2100 exhibitors, and the combined Anaheim shows and events might seem overwhelming. To help attendees plan their show, UBM Canon has also released two new event planning tools: a desktop web portal and mobile app. The web portal can find people, search the show by areas of interest, request meetings, create a speaker session schedule, and more. The mobile app is available for iPhone, Android, and iPad.

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