It’s an odd-numbered year, which means it’s an ICE USA year. The biennial trade show returns to Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Convention Center from April 25-27 and will co-locate with InPrint USA, the Industrial Print Exhibition. The following week, about 2,000 miles west, another packaging trade show will take place in Phoenix, Arizona, as FTA InfoFlex will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center May 1-2. Hosted annually with the FTA Annual Forum (April 30-May 3), the 2017 InfoFlex marks the 35th anniversary of the event.
Here’s a closer look at the two packaging events that will kick off spring:
ICE USA 2017: The International Converting Exhibition
Thanks in part to its co-location with InPrint USA, ICE USA organizers are expecting a show floor about 30 percent larger than 2015 and have already noticed an uptick in registrants. According to Melissa Magestro, executive VP at Mack Brooks Exhibitions USA, the organizers behind ICE USA, additions of the 3M Engineering and Manufacturing Technology Chapter and six Latin American packaging and converting association partners will also likely help attendance reach new heights in 2017.
“This is the only trade show dedicated to everything converting,” she says. “The equipment, technology, technical education, expert consultations, industry presentations – you can’t get this focused information for the converting industry anywhere else.”
In addition to more than 250 exhibitor booths, the expo floor will host a Future of Converting Theater, where the likes of business practices, workforce development issues and regulatory topics will be covered. Additionally, an AIMCAL-organized technical conference will run all three days of the show prior to expo hours. ICE also offers an Ask the Experts panel to give attendees one-on-one advice to help solve problems or challenges in the converting process.
“ICE USA attendees are going to see more new equipment and technology on the show floor than ever before,” says Magestro. “The content in the ICE USA Technical Sessions and Future of Converting Theater is exactly what attendees need to stay current with all the changes in the industry. Our team of experts offering free consultations on converting challenges is a unique value that attendees can’t get anywhere else. And the addition of InPrint USA makes this event a can’t-miss for anyone involved in packaging.”
The Flexographic Technical Association’s InfoFlex event will mark its 35th anniversary when it comes to the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona, May 1-2. Event organizers expect more than 240 exhibitors and 2,000 attendees to pack the show floor for the two-day event, with everything from narrow web to specialty printing to converting equipment being showcased.
“InfoFlex has high expectations, having grown by 50 percent over the last six years,” says FTA marketing manager Eileen Cosma. “(This year) will be no different. The show floor (is expected to) grow again by 5 percent, and we will see more than 2,100 package printers come through the doors during the two-day event. Last year, 93 percent of the exhibitors met new business prospects, with 92 percent rating quality of attendees excellent or good.”
InfoFlex also coincides with the FTA Annual Forum, which runs April 30-May 3 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, located just a few blocks from the convention center. With a theme of “Trending Now,” the Annual Forum will focus on technologies and topics currently relevant to the packaging industry as a means of helping attendees better anticipate what the future holds.
The Annual Forum will focus on everything from workforce challenges to disruptive technologies to packaging solutions. “With its first show in 1958, Forum has been built over several decades,” says Cosma. “No two years are the same. This year’s agenda will embrace today’s hottest topics and latest trends. FTA strives to keep each year fresh and up to date with the ever-growing industry. We will discuss all of the new and changing standards, as well as the impact today’s trends will have on the industry tomorrow.”
ICE USA 2017
When: April 25-27
When: May 1-2