Jenton International is one of the eight founding members of the PPMA – the organisation behind the UK’s leading production line event for processing and packaging machinery, the PPMA Show. Having been there from the beginning, Jenton has also never missed exhibiting at a show, with a perfect track record of attendance over the past three decades. We find out why the company pitches up at the NEC year after year.

Not-so-humble beginnings

Discussing the first ever incarnation of the show in 1988 at Telford International Centre, Jenton owner Richard Little recalls its impressive exhibitor to visitor ratio: “In true team spirit, each PPMA member company contributed their customer list and attended the show, resulting in 60 exhibitors and a mammoth 3,000 visitors – not bad at all for an inaugural event.”

By 1997, the show had increased in size to 260 exhibitors and 10,000 visitors, outgrowing Telford. And so the event moved 30 miles East to the NEC, Birmingham, filling the venue’s Hall 5 with the latest innovations in processing and packaging machinery.

“By then it had become the event on the industry calendar – it’s where you went for the perfect mix of networking and business,” says Richard.

Consistent quality 

Richard remarks that one of the PPMA Show’s selling points is its consistency. You always know what you’re going to get – the opportunity to see the latest equipment on show and actually running. “People go to the show with a problem and come back with a solution,” he says. “Our primary aim is always to meet new customers and we never fail to leave with valuable connections.” This sentiment is echoed in results of the PPMA Group member survey, in which respondents said they thought the PPMA Show mix was absolutely right.

Thanks to the harmonious (as Richard puts it) nature of the industry, business can also be done between co-exhibitors. “On several occasions, a customer comes on stand looking for a particular solution and we might offer a part of that with a different PPMA Show exhibitor offering another. We’ll therefore take the customer over to the right stand and it becomes a joint venture.”

This collaboration is evident through the Partnership of the Year category in the prestigious PPMA Group Industry Awards – which Jenton scooped in 2016 through its work with Vision Systems.

A boost for the business

Jenton International was originally a distributor of packaging, UV and converting technology. Now, 40% of the company’s work is manufacturing its own products. Richard cites the PPMA Show as the ideal platform to advertise this evolution.

“The PPMA Show is a great place to show people you’re still in business, and – not only that – that business is booming. It also boosted our brand awareness and helped get our small company on the map.

“It’s the most comprehensive, dedicated event in the calendar for our industry – if you’re looking for packaging machinery it’s the only place to go. Of course, now the PPMA has become the PPMA Group of Associations, this includes vision from UKIVA and automation from BARA. Plus there’s a fantastic buzz, and I’m always looking forward to talking about my favourite subject for three days!”