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Chicago, IL - Even though sections of the East Coast were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Pack Expo 2012 still managed an increase in attendance from the year before, according to Pack Expo owner and producer, PMMI.

Heather Caliendo

November 6, 2012

3 Min Read
Despite Hurricane Sandy & NFL Sunday, Pack Expo 2012 breaks records

packexpo.png_2.jpgChicago, IL - Even though sections of the East Coast were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Pack Expo 2012 still managed an increase in attendance from the year before, according to Pack Expo owner and producer, PMMI.

The four-day event, Oct. 28-31, covered more than 1.1 million sq ft in McCormick Place with 1965 exhibiting companies, and reported an increase of over 6% for space and 7% for exhibiting companies from Pack Expo 2010.

Pre-registration for Pack Expo was up nearly 10% prior to the event, but the East Coast storm did have some effect on the final attendance numbers. In addition to logistic issues with Hurricane Sandy, there was some talk among various attendees that the first day of Pack Expo on Sunday Oct. 28 was pretty light on traffic compared to the other days of the show. Some said starting the show on Sunday presented several conflicts including having to work on the weekend and many attendees desire to watch NFL games.

Despite Hurricane Sandy and competing with NFL Sunday, Pack Expo had about 45,300 attendees to McCormick Place, about a 3% increase over the 2010 show. There was an increase in international attendees, which were up just over 53% from 2010.

Eric Metcalf, business and market development manager for Berry Plastics, told PlasticsToday that the show went well for the packaging giant.

"We've been talking with targeted customers about our innovations and platform throughout the week," he said. "While it's hard to say how many people we, and the show as a whole, might have missed due to the Hurricane Sandy in the East Coast, there hasn't been a slow time at our booth. It shows the company is doing something right."

Metcalf said Berry Plastics had met with many decision makers and some deals were made at the show.

Robin Thurgood, VP & General Manager with Rennco, a manufacturer of vertical bagging and L-Bar sealing systems, also said they received inquires from attendees. The company packages a variety of products in center-folded polyethylene, polyolefin and PVC films

Thurgood said the show went "great" for the company, although it helped being part of their parent company's Pro Mach booth, which featured about 18,774 sq ft of packaging solutions on display all under the Pro Mach name.

"We're not hard to miss," he said.

PMMI stated that exhibitors are already planning their presence at Pack Expo Las Vegas, Sept. 23-25, 2013. Approximately 47,000 sq ft of booth space sold during the show in Chicago last week, bringing the current Pack Expo Las Vegas net square footage to nearly 560,000, which is about 20% ahead of pace from 2011.

Charles Yuska, president & CEO of PMMI, stated, "While we fully expected to surpass our attendance goals, the storm's effect on East Coast travel prohibited many from making the show. However, we still finished with the largest Pack Expo International since 2006."

Yuska added, "The increase in exhibitors speaks to the quality of business done at Pack Expo. These exhibiting companies invest time and resources, and they have to believe that they are going to get a return on that investment." 

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