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The Show Is Over, But the Leads Linger On

CMM International 2001 is in the books. From April 23–26, McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, welcomed more than 28,000 converting professionals. The show, which was held in one building on one level, was easy to maneuver and offered its usual broad range of machinery, materials, technologies, and services in close to 900 exhibits.

Produced and managed by Paperloop/Events, CMM International stayed true to its name by hosting visitors from 73 countries. A match-making program identified international export and import opportunities and reportedly generated significant sales.

While the aisles were noticeably quieter than in other years, many exhibitors were pleased with the “quality” of attendees and the number of genuine leads they received.

Notes VP of CMM Events Leo Nadolske: “Although the economy caused attendance to be down from CMM International '99, the exhibitors I spoke with were very happy with the quality of attendees. Companies aren't sending as many people to the shows as in previous years, but they are sending the people with purchasing power.”

New features included the Digital Front End Technology Center and Presentation Theater; the Corrugated Pavilion; and a Canadian Pavilion. A comprehensive program of seminars and tutorials accompanied the exhibit.

OMAC Initiates Dialog
At CMM International, the OMAC Motion for Packaging Users Group, and Packaging World and Paper, Film & Foil CONVERTER magazines met as a group for the first time on April 25 to discuss the possible establishment of open architecture standards for converting equipment.

The audience, largely composed of machinery and equipment suppliers to the converting industry, listened to speakers address why open architecture standards are needed for prepress workflow systems to the networks that control and connect individual machines.

PFFC editor Yolanda Simonsis voiced the perspective that to achieve these goals, further dialog with converting industry professionals is required. Little is known among converters and suppliers of the accomplishments that the OMAC packaging group has achieved within the packaging industry, so it will take time and education to extend the group's work into an allied industry.

The meeting also offered presentations by Dave Newcorn of Packaging World, Gregg Ginnow of Paper Converting Machine Co., (PCMC) and a panel of end-users, including Procter & Gamble, M&M Mars, and Hershey Foods. Initiatives discussed included programming languages/APIs, architecture/connectivity, education, and benefits/results.

Future coverage of OMAC initiatives that involve the converting industry will appear in an upcoming issue of PFFC.

Roving Reporters
PFFC editors walked the show floor as always, gathering industry information, but this year we also took the opportunity to interview exhibitors (and some converters) on current issues and on how their companies are faring in these somewhat difficult times.

One of the questions we asked was about trade shows: “Do you think ‘virtual’ trade shows, i.e., web-based, will ever replace the real thing?” Below are some of the responses:

Bruce Chenier, industry manager, Quadra Chemicals, Burlington, ON, Canada: “I don't think a show of the nature and scope of CMM would be appropriate for that format. People that are at this show are typically very hands on, very mechanically oriented, and they really need to see the equipment and feel it.”

Chip Wilbanks, sales manager, Kampf Machinery Division, Jagenberg, Enfield, CT: “I think [a virtual trade show] can be an asset. I don't think it could completely replace this because you're looking at hardware most of the time. People want to touch and feel and see, but it would be a good source of information.”

John M. Price, president, Karlville Development Group, Miami, FL: “The Internet and the concept of a virtual trade show can help the industry in terms of getting information to the customers quickly, but I don't think it would be able to replace the trade show where you can demonstrate machines, and people can actually see them and understand exactly what they're getting. I don't think it's a realistic idea.”

CMM 2003, scheduled for April 14–17 at McCormick Place in Chicago, is reported to be 77% sold out. For more information visit

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