CHICAGO (Aug. 22, 11 a.m. EDT) — New dot-com companies aren´t welcome to exhibit at Pack Expo 2000 in Chicago, so a competing firm is setting up a new show exclusively for packaging-related e-commerce companies.
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute — the Arlington, Va.-based sponsor of the bi-annual Pack Expo show — has ruled out all but one dot-com exhibitor at its packaging technology show. The one exception is PackExpo.com, the official Web site for the show.
"We have 100 companies on a waiting list — manufacturers. It´s not like we can take the people who are new to the market in the dot-com arena and ignore people who´ve been waiting on this list for two or three years," said Matt Croson, PMMI´s communications director.
"We can´t jump you to the front of the line. You do that in a movie theater, and it drives people crazy."
Reed Exhibition Cos. has decided to sponsor a show just for those turned-away exhibitors, which will be held during Pack Expo. The Norwalk, Conn., company´s event, Packaging e-Business Expo, will take place Nov. 6-7 from 4-8 p.m. at an undetermined site in downtown Chicago, said Reed industry Vice President Howard Friedman.
Reed already sponsors the EastPack, WestPack and SouthPack trade shows that compete with Pack Expo.
Croson said the PackExpo.com Web site is needed as a support mechanism for the show.
"PackExpo.com is the official show site," he said. "They´re our product locators — we´re using their underlying technology on the show floor."
The sold-out Pack Expo show is scheduled to take place during business hours Nov. 5-9, which is why Friedman decided to schedule his event for the later hours.
"I don´t want to compete with PMMI," Friedman said in a telephone interview from his Norwalk office. "It´s not in the industry´s best interest to have two shows happen at the same time. That puts too much constraint on visitors and exhibitors."
But Friedman said he saw a tremendous need and an opportunity to organize an event for the e-commerce aspect of the packaging industry.
"A number of the companies I do business with had come to me and said, `We´ve been excluded from Pack Expo — can you help?´ " he said.
So far, about 20 of the targeted 50 companies have expressed interest in exhibiting.
"The target exhibitor base is portal companies, Web design, Web hosting and consulting companies that can help manufacturers who want to get on the Net," he said.
PMMI´s Croson said a workshop during Pack Expo will address e-commerce.