The PPMA Show 2018, which took place at the NEC Birmingham between 25-27 September, delivered the biggest show in its 30-year history.
A record 373 exhibitors from the processing equipment and packaging machinery industry filled over 11,000 m2 of hall-space with visitor footfall providing a high volume of quality visitors throughout the three-day event.
With one of the most impressive line-ups of product launches, new technologies, keynote speakers, live demonstrations and ground breaking solutions, both visitors and exhibitors alike have hailed the PPMA Show 2018 the best yet.
Exhibitors welcomed the outstanding calibre of visitors, comprising senior representatives, key decision makers and purchasers from a variety of sectors, and reported exceptional numbers of high-quality leads. Onsite business deals and sales secured at the show, valued at many millions of pounds, was a further indicator of the success of the show.
Commenting on the PPMA Show 2018, Dr Andrew Mint, CEO of the PPMA Group, says: “We are absolutely delighted that the show has received such positive feedback from our exhibitors. We are also thrilled that, once again, the show attracted the right calibre of visitor with a genuine sense of purpose.
The fact that such high numbers of quality leads were generated; so many positive discussions took place; and so much business was secured at the show, is testament to there still being a strong appetite for this event,” he added.
The two-day seminar programme, which delivered a first-class line up of expert speakers covering topical issues offered insight, education and inspiration in the Enterprise Zone. Presentations covering Industry 4.0, cyber-security, augmented reality, robotics and automation all drew strong crowds, while audience participation was particularly engaging during the ‘Future of Plastics in Packaging’ debate.
The daily keynote speakers, Lord Mark Price, who discussed ‘How to Brexit-proof your business’ and Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons, who shared his personal experiences of ‘Building a Sustainable Business’, both proved overwhelmingly popular, attracting standing-room only audiences each day.
“Walking the aisles, talking to visitors and exhibitors as well as attending the seminars over the three days of the show, I was overwhelmed by the positivity and vibrancy of the show’s atmosphere and the general sense of optimism throughout the industry as a whole,” continues Andrew Mint.
“The technology demonstrations were as popular as ever, with high levels of interest in robotics, vision systems and efficiency saving solutions. However it’s the unique mix of processing equipment and packaging machinery on display, the diversity of applications present and wide range of sectors represented that all contributed to creating the perfect environment to ignite interest, explore new solutions, nurture partnerships as well as secure multi-million pound business deals.”
Education and skills training was also on the agenda, with this year’s show providing a showcase of career inspiration to 60 students from Presdales School in Hertfordshire, who were visiting as part of the PPMA BEST’s latest initiative to attract young talent into the industry.
For Nicola Warburton, a sixth form teacher at Presdales School, the PPMA Show 2018 presented a vibrant, exciting and career inspiring environment for her students.
“A lot of young people aren’t aware of the career choices that are available to them,” explained Nicola. “The PPMA Show has provided our students with a fantastic opportunity to meet people from all aspects of the packaging and processing industry, listen to their inspirational stories and to see first-hand, the breath and diversity that this industry offers in terms of future career possibilities.”
The PPMA Group Industry Awards 2018, which were held during the first night of the PPMA Show, were also a further cause for celebration, recognising manufacturing excellence, technical innovation and outstanding industry achievement.
“The high calibre of award entries this year, demonstrates the skill, talent, creativity, strength and commitment there is in our industry,” concludes Andrew Mint. “This was all very much in evidence throughout this year’s show, clearly indicating the sector has a great deal to celebrate and can look optimistically forward to the future.”