Interview with the PPMA’s Show Director, Richard Little, about the upcoming event this September.
- The PPMA Show 2021 will be the PPMA’s first live event for two years. How does it feel to be resuming live events again after the last couple of years?
We’re delighted to be returning to the NEC in September (28th – 30th) for our first major exhibition in two years. After feeling the effects of the pandemic and being behind a screen for the past 18 months or so, it feels incredible to be less than two months away from bringing our communities back together and opening the doors to a live PPMA Show. With positive improvements in the pandemic and the easing of restrictions on live events, we’re looking to deliver an experience that comes as close as possible to what participants expect from PPMA.
Face-to-face exhibitions are vital for the exchange of information and ideas. Particularly in our industry, visitors need to see the latest solutions in processing equipment and packaging machinery up close, with real-time demonstrations of advanced technology and the opportunity to network with suppliers and peers.
- What can visitors expect from the PPMA show this year?
First and foremost, there will be lots of innovation, two years’ worth of it. During the three days, visitors will have access to over 250 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in smart manufacturing, processing equipment and packaging solutions from the following sectors: food and beverage, pharmaceutical, household products and toiletries, building materials and supplies, pet care, micro-brewery and distilleries, FMCG and contract packing. Confirmed exhibitors include Adpak, Barry-Wehmiller, Bradman Lake, Evolution Bottling & Packaging, Ilapak, Markem-Imaje, Schur Star Systems, Selo, Ulma, Winkworth and many more.
This gathering of industry-leading manufacturers will showcase the latest solutions in the processing, packaging, robotics and industrial vision sectors and offer visitors the opportunity to attend real-time demonstrations. Other areas of interest include artificial intelligence, and the integration of vision equipment and robotics into existing production lines.
Engineers, purchasers, specifiers of this type of industrial equipment will be able to gain new insights and knowledge on ways to enhance production and cost efficiencies to support business growth.
- What controls have you put in place to ensure that the exhibition is COVID secure?
The safety and well-being of our visitors, exhibitors and staff is paramount. We’re working to current government guidelines and with the NEC’s Venue Protect framework to ensure that all necessary controls are in place, without impacting the overall event experience.
Participants can rely on all the necessary health and safety precautions relating to COVID and, to reassure visitors with regards to cleanliness and safety, the NEC has introduced advanced cleaning measures and hand sanitising stations are located at all entrances of the NEC and at numerous locations around the venue. Physical touchpoints will be reduced throughout the show and there is also ample outdoor space at the NEC for visitors wanting to get some fresh air and to take a break from the exhibition floor during their visit.
There will of course be differences in the way the 2021 event runs compared to previous years. For example, alterations will be made to the omnidirectional floorplan and on-site catering provisions and, we’re also advising visitors travelling to the show to limit what they bring. Cloakrooms will be open but for coats only. You will no longer be able to store bags and other items in the cloakrooms onsite, due to the updated safety protocols. In addition, the cloakrooms and onsite catering facilities will only accept card payment to minimise contact at the venue.
Pre-registration will be compulsory for all visitors this year so, for anybody thinking of attending, please do pre-register in advance.
We’re also advising visitors to follow the latest local guidance at the time of the show with regards to face masks, isolating and symptoms to ensure the safety of themselves and others in attendance.
- Why is it important for live exhibitions and events to resume?
Exhibitions and trade shows are the best way for individuals to learn about the latest trends and technologies in their sectors.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen the re-opening of hospitality and live events. As a result of this progress, enabled by the pace of the vaccination programme and the progressive relaxation of COVID restrictions, exhibitors and visitors are excited about the prospect of doing face-to-face business at the PPMA Show and can’t wait to return to the live event.
- Do you think the industry is ready to resume live events?
This will be the first PPMA live event in the UK since September 2019, following the postponement of all events during 2020 and early 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. Recent research conducted amongst PPMA’s audiences reveals a strong appetite for the live event, with 70% of respondents seeing trade shows as an essential platform for reviewing and making future product purchases. Pre-registration is ramping up and there’s a clear appetite for visitors and exhibitors to connect face-to-face.
Our audiences have told us that they need access to hands-on product demonstrations and to participate in face-to-face meetings with suppliers and manufacturers to support their recovery. And, renowned by the industry as a platform for launching new products, the 2021 show will be no exception.
Our experience shows that visitors’ main reasons for attending are to see product demonstrations and new technology up close and in person. Therefore, with over 250 exhibitors on the show floor, live demonstrations and new products being shown for the first time in the UK, we’re confident that the PPMA Show 2021 is a must-attend event.
To register to attend, visit: https://ppmashow2021.reg.buzz/