Trade show ignites our fire on the near-term future
By Tom Hoffman, President/CEO
Last month, my brother Peter and I attended PackExpo in Las Vegas. I blogged about an award we received during the show, from Nabtesco Motion Control. Our chief objective at the show wasn’t awards (but getting one is nice). It was marketing. We visited the always-popular Pack Expo to learn about strategic and tactical business opportunities for the company. And we ran into quite a few others who came to Las Vegas for the same reason.
The 2015 edition of Pack Expo celebrated the show’s 20th anniversary in Las Vegas. 29,000 people passed through the doors, attendance that broke the prior record. This year’s event was a joint venture between the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) and Pharma EXPO making its Las Vegas debut. Other stats: more than 2,000 exhibitors occupied nearly 845,000 square feet of exhibit space (both numbers are records). More than 40 vertical markets were represented by solutions ranging from the sublime to the delicious (food packaging) and the extreme (think packaging for integrated circuits to entire mobile homes).
Jim Pittas, senior vice president of PMMI, said, “Technologies and applications often apply across a range of industries, and the sheer scale of our show fosters manufacturers’ ability to make the connections that lead to true innovation. That phenomenon really sets the PACK EXPO shows apart.”
"Technologies and applications often apply across a range of industries, and the sheer scale of our show fosters manufacturers’ ability to make the connections that lead to true innovation. That phenomenon really sets the PACK EXPO shows apart."
Our Marketing Lessons
R.M. Hoffman’s extensive line card of off-the-shelf electromechanical motion solutions included products from three of the show’s exhibitors – Nabtesco Motion Control, Mini Motor and Tolomatic.
At these exhibitors’ booths, we discovered much by reconnoitering the attendees. R.M. Hoffman isn’t just a distributor of motion control products. We are also a value-added engineering firm. We use our standard distribution product lines as the starting point for semi-custom and full custom solutions to vexing mechanical motion control problems. I’ve blogged about several and have quite a few new episodes in mind for the months ahead. Each is an important short case study.
As we visited the Nabtesco, Mini Motor and Tolomatic booths, it was obvious that interest is arriving from a much more diverse audience than we’ve seen in the past. If anything, our time spent at Pack Expo reinforced our belief that value-added services will increase in demand in the future. This is due to new unique solutions arising out of emerging market opportunities coupled with our increasing discoverability on the Internet.
We are energized by what we saw at Pack Expo. As U.S. manufacturing continues to rebuild, it’s well known that reshoring is the habitat of factory automation due to the economics. That’s our habitat. We look forward to the new challenges and opportunities that lay ahead of us.
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