Friday, November 14th, 2008

Packing Them in at Pack Expo

After a very successful career (one week exactly) as the official unofficial Barrack Obama spokesperson to the plastics community in Brazil, I eagerly ventured to the U.S-based international packaging show, Pack Expo in Chicago, to see how the trade show community was surviving in the immediate post-election era. As I anticipate SPI’s NPE2009 show next June in the same venue, I wondered what impact the nation’s current economic woes would have.

I boarded an early flight after a restless night dreaming (a nightmare, actually) of rusted equipment, empty aisles and tumble weeds rolling through the show.

I must say, however, that I was very pleasantly surprised that Pack Expo was, well, packed! The lobbies were full, the aisles were full, even the Internet stations had lines of people two and three deep (no doubt other bloggers sending off their own version of the event).

A healthy Pack Expo is a good sign that people are still bullish, and out and about seeking new technology, shopping for new machines, and doing what any savvy business will do to stay ahead of the competition. There’s nothing like a good show for a skittish economy.

My meetings at the show left me almost giddy. I met with the PET Strategies Conference team who are planning to hold their event at NPE2009. I spoke to my new pals at Dow, who were also very upbeat and brimming with confidence. I even ran into my German friends from the K Show, who were also smiling.

So thanks to Pack Expo — for a great show, an injection of confidence and for demonstrating that dire times are more perception than reality. Come on NPE2009!

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