PPMA Show 2021 celebrates successful return to live events

ORGANISATIONS of PPMA Show 2021 have described the event as a ‘great success’ after businesses welcomed the opportunity to return to face-to-face exhibitions after the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the events calendar over the past 18 months.

The processing and packaging machinery event returned to the NEC, Birmingham for the first time in two years, featuring over 250 exhibitors and 1,250 brands.

Organisers revealed the show attracted a ‘solid audience’ despite the fuel crisis and pandemic-related challenges.

Show director Richard Little said, “Notwithstanding the impact of the pandemic on all live events, the PPMA Show has once again proved to be a successful event for both visitors and exhibitors. We’re thrilled to have delivered our first live show since 2019 and evidence is that buyers have visited our event with active projects in mind.

“Improving line speeds, efficiency and automation of lines has been of primary interest with manufacturing companies having the joint challenge of labour restrictions and increased demand for packaged goods from retailers. It’s great that the PPMA Show will help make a contribution to building back business.”

David Harrison, chief operating officer of PPMA Group of Associations, added, “There is evidence that, despite the challenges posed post-Covid and the unforeseen fuel crisis, the packaging and processing industry continues to thrive. The footfall has been fantastic and quality of visitors exceptionally high. It’s just what all our members deserve after pulling together as an industry over the last 18 months.”

Steve Bradley, sales director at exhibitor AVE UK, said the business came away from the event with some ‘strong leads’. “Our stand attracted a good number of visitors; most importantly, the quality was excellent too, with key decision makers such as heads of engineering and engineering managers all coming by to speak to us,” he revealed.

Stuart Coulton, market development manager at Omron UK, described the show as ‘livelier’ than expected. “Our stand was consistently busy from the moment the doors opened, with labour proving a major issue for manufacturers,” he explained. “Overall, it was a very successful show for us, attracting senior representatives from both SMEs and large corporations alike.”

Phil Brown, MD at Fortress Technology Europe, said the company was ‘extremely happy’ with the turnout. “Our stand was constantly busy, with visitors spending longer than usual talking to our team,” he added. “Most were looking to fulfil live projects taking place in the next 3-6 months, so they were ready to talk details. We met with a number of decision makers from key food manufacturers across the confectionery and dairy sectors, among others. I can honestly say it was one of the most successful PPMA Shows that we’ve ever exhibited at.”

Akeel Ahmed, business development manager for Kemtile, commented, “We were really happy to be back in front of prospective customers and get a taste of pre-pandemic life.”

Brillopak director David Jahn revealed the manufacturer picked up ‘promising leads’, primarily in the fresh produce and ready meals sectors. He added, “I was pleased to note that the quality of visitors seemed higher than usual, with less junior team members and more project managers, directors and company owners.”

Craig Burgess, MD of Lechler, commented, “Another well organised show – the quality of people attending has been excellent. Visitors really know what they wanted, and this has led to some very interesting conversations.”

Tony McDonald, sales and marketing director at IMA Ilapak, revealed he was ‘delighted’ after seeing a ‘constant stream’ of visitors on the stand. “Sustainability was a key driver for many of the people we spoke to,” he explained. “The impending Plastic Packaging Tax is prompting manufacturers to look towards recyclable films. Nothing beats being able to engage with customers and prospects face to face. It was great to sit down and grab a coffee with our customers who we had been previously unable to visit due to the pandemic. It was a pleasure to be able to showcase solutions to visitors in person again.”

A full report of PPMA Show 2021 will appear in the October issue of Packaging Scotland.