More exhibitors. More exhibit space. More solutions. Even a larger confectionery pavilion. This year’s PMMI’s PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011, which will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center Sept. 26–28, 2011, looks to break a variety of records.

The largest and most comprehensive packaging and processing trade show experience in North America will have more than 1,600 exhibitors occupying in excess of 600,000 net sq. ft.

"We're excited about the way PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011 is shaping up," says PMMI President and CEO Charles D. Yuska. "The Las Vegas show has grown considerably over the past 15-plus years, and now it has more to offer than ever. This year, we're presenting a number of special features, many of them brand new."

One of those features, returning from last year but in an expanded format is the Confectionery Pavilion. PMMI, together with the National Confectioners Association (NCA) will welcome candy makers to a 15,000-sq.-ft. area dedicated to confectionery processing and packaging.

“PACK EXPO Pavilions are designed to help attendees quickly and easily find the suppliers that serve their industries, and the Confectionery Pavilion was one of our most successful endeavors at PACK EXPO International 2010,” explains Yuska. “This pavilion, and the support of NCA, were key factors in helping us deliver a successful show in 2010.”

Ross Bainbridge of Bainbridge & Associates and chairman of NCA’s Supplier Advisory Committee says the partnership is delivering results.

“Between packaging, which is our members’ interface with the consumer, and the processing solutions that make our members’ products possible, PACK EXPO is a phenomenal resource for the confectionery industry,” he says. “The Confectionery Pavilion connects our supplier members with their customers.”

One of the new elements that’s being introduced at the show that is also specifically tailored to the confectioner community is the Candy Bar. The swank meeting place, which will be located at the upper South Hall, booth 7000, provides an ideal location for networking, educational presentation and connecting with experts.

“The Candy Bar lounge is a gathering place for confectionery professionals and another example of our customer-centric approach to PACK EXPO Las Vegas,” asserts Yuska. “It’s a place where they can network, talk to industry authorities and sit down for a moment.”

Features at The Candy Bar will include an “Ask the Expert” resource center, where attendees can discuss specific manufacturing challenges with leading authorities, and the Innovation Stage program, a series of live, 30-minute seminars focusing on confectionery packaging and processing technologies. Seminars are scheduled to start at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27.

Confectionery manufacturers and suppliers are also invited to a special networking reception hosted by PMMI and NCA in The Candy Bar lounge on Monday, Sept. 26, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

“In 2011, the global confectionery industry is estimated to exceed $170 billion,” says Yuska. “It is important that we provide resources that focus on this important market segment and make it easy for confectionery brands to maximize their time at PACK EXPO Las Vegas.”

To help confectionery attendees prepare for PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011, an interactive, connected online community will be available at packexpo.com with news and information about industry trends.

During the show, the community will feature live blogs from industry experts with observations right from the exhibit floor. The connected community will remain active after the show ends, allowing manufacturers and exhibitors to stay in touch year-round. While online, visitors also can schedule appointments and build relationships with exhibitors that will be at PACK EXPO Las Vegas.

For more information, visit www.packexpo.com.