PPMA Total Show 2019, the UK’s largest processing and packaging machinery exhibition, has been hailed an overwhelming success by exhibitors and visitors to the event at the NEC, Birmingham (1-3 October).
Over 450 exhibitors and 2,500 brands showcased the latest innovations in smart manufacturing, processing equipment and packaging solutions for the following sectors: food and beverage, pharmaceutical, household producers, pet care, micro brewery and distilleries, FMCG and contract packaging.
Long renowned by the industry as the perfect platform for launching new products, the 2019 show was no exception. Visitors had the opportunity to see real-time demonstrations of advanced technologies and innovative solutions, as well as other areas of interest. This included artificial intelligence and the integration of vision equipment and robotics into existing production lines.
PPMA Total Show’s Enterprise Zone provided visitors and exhibitors with the opportunity to learn and network with other industry professionals. A packed two-day conference programme provided expert knowledge and insights into the latest industry trends, with presentations led by an impressive line-up of industry speakers.
Headlining the programme on the opening day (1 October) was Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainable & Healthy Living at IKEA. Joanna shared insights from her 20-year career, which is helping to mainstream sustainable living. She also addressed retailers’ move toward sustainability and circular consumption, resource efficiencies, cost-reduction and innovations. “The programme was designed to be hard-hitting and provide visitors with her perspicacity into the latest developments in the sector through informative debate and thought-provoking presentations.
The overwhelming response from visitors is that it did just that.” says David Harrison, Chief Operating Officer of PPMA Group of Associations. “It provided the perfect platform for visitors to take away ideas and inspiration to grow their own businesses. It was a fitting touch to what was another well-attended PPMA event.”
Day three of the show was dedicated to addressing a significant challenge facing the sector – the skills gap, which was hosted by PPMA’s BEST (Business, Education, Skills and Training) initiative, established to introduce students to the potential career opportunities available within the processing equipment packaging machinery and automation industry.
As part of the extended learning opportunities at the show, Bloodhound SSC Education displayed a carbon fibre model of a supersonic rocket and jet engine powered car. Through virtual reality, visitors were able to experience what it’s like to be behind the wheel and learn how it was made.
The evening of the first day of the show also saw the return of the annual PPMA Group Industry Awards, which recognised excellence in manufacturing, innovation in technical developments and outstanding achievement within the industry.
“We’re delighted that PPMA Total Show 2019 has received such positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike,” continues David Harrison. “As the show’s organiser, we want to provide a valuable experience. Speaking to exhibitors at the event, I was delighted to hear about the high-quality level of leads and the number of prospects they had engaged with. Visitors remarked on the impressive technology demonstrations and the diversity of the packaging and processing equipment that was on display.
“While it is of huge importance that the show attracts the right decision makers, such as CEOs, managing directors and procurement personnel, to create business opportunities, the value of networking cannot be understated. These conversations are key to us all learning about the goings on in the industry and how we can address the political and environmental issues dominating the sector.”
Exhibitors see the value
For the exhibitors at PPMA Total Show 2019, the calibre of visitor and quality of leads were significant positives: “PPMA Total Show has brought us many relevant potential customers to follow up with, so it was well-worth exhibiting,” says Nigel Raj, Field Engineering Manager at Moove Lubricants.
“The PPMA’s shows keep getting better,” says David Spratt, Sales Manager at Epson UK. “We’ve no doubt our return on investment from the show will be the best we’ve ever had.”
Rehan Teriq, Technical Sales Engineer for Farleygreene, also felt PPMA Total Show proved a big success. “I did enjoy the show,” he says. “It’s world-renowned and popular with many serious customers who are focused on exploring solutions for their needs and requirements in their particular workplace.”
Bharat Sharma, Marketing Manager for Videojet says: “The show provided us with a great opportunity to network with a lot of our customers and meet some new prospects as well. We had three busy days and we were very happy with the quality of the discussions that took place on our stand.”
“Every day of the exhibition proved very worthwhile for us,” adds Steve Bradley, Sales and Marketing Director at AVE. “We saw a great deal of quality leads – in fact, I’d say 90% of enquiries we received were from potential new customers.”
While new business ventures were important to exhibitors at PPMA Total Show, the chance to meet up with current customers was also a significant benefit: “The show was very busy for us,” says ILAPAK Sales Manager, Chris Gree. “We saw about 75% existing customers and around 25% were new, which is great – a big positive about PPMA Total Show is not just meeting new people, it’s having the chance to talk with our existing clientele and show them what else we can do to help them.”
The educational aspect of the show also provided added benefit for Vanessa Whiteley of igus UK: “The PPMA Total Show, as always, proved to be a highly worthwhile trip for us – not only as an exhibitor, but to walk about around it and learn about the current and upcoming technological changes in automation and robotics. We’re very much looking forward to the PPMA Show 2020.”
For those making their PPMA Total Show debut, the rewards were clear: “Our first-time attendance was a success,” says Renaat Van Cauter Englico of 100% Seal Inspection. “Our product demos received a lot of attention and we encountered many new contacts. The PPMA TV coverage also enhanced our presence, which was great.”
Anna Pavan on Acrovision, says, “This year we saw lots of food and drink and pharmacy packagers come to us, which is excellent as these are exactly the sectors we are trying to move into, especially with our Validator End of Line Inspection range. We saw a wider variety of industries than ever before visiting us to talk about our vision and automation solutions – it’s great to see so much variation.”
Meanwhile, Rose Crampton of Karmelle, said: “We were impressed with the footfall. We had a number of interesting, high quality leads from a variety of sectors. We also saw a lot of our existing customers as well, some of whom made enquiries about our latest equipment. PPMA Total Show 2019 was definitely a worthwhile visit.”
Martin Leeming, CEO of first-time exhibitor and PPMA Group Industry Award winner, TrakRap adds: “We’ve been amazed at the response to our equipment – the quality of leads has been outstanding, and the show has exceeded our wildest expectations.”
A very worthwhile visit
Many visitors to the PPMA Total Show 2019 have remarked on a rewarding trip: “This is the show to go to if you go to only one show in the year,” says Richard Goodman of Richard Goodman Country Collections. “All the shakers and movers in the industry are there, under one roof, at the best venue in the country, which provides easy access for all.”
Rodney Steel, Chief Executive of the British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association (BCMPA), adds: “PPMA Total Show 2019 was an excellent show. There was an impressive range of equipment on display, including some exciting robotics developments. What’s more, the networking opportunities are invaluable.”
Also full of praise for the exhibition was Alam Ameer of Wanis International Foods: “It was great to see so many new machinery options that will help drive our business in the future and reduce overall overheads and carbon footprint.”
“The show was well-organised and professional,” says Craig Johnson of Johnson & Johnson. “There was a fantastic range of companies and representatives.”
In response to all the positive feedback received, David Harrison concluded: “There is evidence that, despite the political climate and environmental forecasts, the packaging and processing industry continues to thrive.
“What’s more, when you consider the high standard of award entries received this year; coupled with the incredible range of technology on display and diverse range of visitors at PPMA Total Show 2019, the whole experience was a resounding success.”