It’s been a long two years since the last in-person PACK EXPO in September 2019, as the pandemic forced the trade show to go virtual last year. Thankfully, the packaging industry is coming together again to share its technological capabilities, meet like-minded professionals, and have a look at what other companies have accomplished. PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2021 is scheduled to take place on September 27th through 29th, and PMI KYOTO Packaging Systems’ president Mr. Branko Vukotic will be among this year’s attendees. I was able to take some time to sit down with him and get his thoughts on the upcoming show, COVID-19’s effect on the packaging industry, and his plan to make this PACK EXPO the best one yet!
You’ve been the main contact and PMI KYOTO’s person in charge for the PACK EXPO trade show for many years now. When thinking about your experiences, what would you say is your favorite part of attending PACK EXPO?
My favorite part of attending PACK EXPO is being able to greet current and potential customers in person, keeping them up to date on PMI KYOTO’s technological advancements, and informing them of our global successes. I also enjoy using this time to get myself immersed in the available technology of our suppliers, other OEM partners, and our competitors.
Due to the pandemic, we haven’t had opportunities to meet this many packaging professionals face-to-face in close to two years. Comparing 2019’s in-person event to 2020’s online-only exhibit, what did you notice regarding communication with professionals? How were the interactions in both situations and which did you prefer?
There’s no doubt that our society is becoming more digital, and last year’s online PACK EXPO proved that the trade show environment can be (at least in part) facilitated online. However, I believe that has yet to change is the importance of human interaction. As it stands, face-to-face communication is the best way to get a full understanding of all requirements, from initial project discovery, picking the application that offers the best ROI, manufacturing capabilities and time frames, and other critical information. While any information obtained online is precious, I believe that visiting an online booth is like visiting a website. At an in-person trade show, I’m able to put a face to a name, deepen connections with human interaction, and foster closer relationships with customers, suppliers, and other OEMs. This makes all the difference.
A lot can change within an industry in two years. How has PMI KYOTO changed its technology to meet the evolving demands of customers and their packaging needs since 2019?
From the very beginning, our engineering philosophy has been heavily rooted in innovation. PMI is widely recognized in the industry as a leader of packaging engineering and manufacturing. We have always designed and manufactured our machines to prioritize durability and ensure that they are still performing at optimal levels decades after they leave our doors. Over the past two years, we began expanding even further into the automation world with the assistance of our parent company, Kyoto Seisakusho (KSS). With 70 years of history, 1,000 employees (with a third of those employees being specialized engineers), and the same commitment to technical philosophy, quality equipment, and customer satisfaction, our partnership and active collaboration have truly allowed us to grow as a company over these past two years.
Without giving away too many juicy details, what can our booth visitors expect to see when they visit PMI KYOTO’s booth this year?
This year, we are showing top-rate systems which can run food products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and an even wider array of products. In addition to the physical machines, we will also have digital supplementary material, such as videos of complete product line offerings from PMI and KSS. We’re bringing along experienced engineers and sales staff who can consult with visitors about their unique situations and help determine which of our solutions would work best for those situations.
We are truly looking forward to another successful PACK EXPO and hope to see you at our booth!
You can meet Branko, as well as our friendly sales staff and engineers, at PACK EXPO Las Vegas between September 27th. and 29th at booth number C-3036. You can even register for the trade show for free by using the comp code 58T73 at registration. We’re all looking forward to seeing you, face-to-face!