COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Exhibitors and Attendees

Message from PMMI vice president, trade shows

May 26, 2020: The city of Chicago announced Friday it is on pace to begin easing restrictions on certain activities in early June. With many essential meetings taking place this week regarding the next steps on the phased reopening plan for businesses by Illinois Governor Pritzker, PMMI is waiting to receive some clarity and direction on how the state is moving forward concerning trade shows. Once we know more, we will communicate the information and identify how this impacts PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2020.

This matter was the top priority discussion at last week’s PMMI Board meeting, as board members are exhibitors and impacted just like you. Due to the ever-changing situation and many active discussions regarding reopening happening at the state and local level, the board agreed that a decision regarding the status of the show will be made no later than August, should we not hear from the Governor’s office by then. If something should happen prior to August, the exhibitors and members will be notified immediately.

PMMI’s biggest focus right now is doing everything we can to support our exhibitors. We thank you for your continued patience as we await word from the results of these meetings. In light of this, we are extending the final booth payment deadline to August 1.

While we are looking at and preparing for several different scenarios, the most critical factor that we need right now is clarity from the Governor. We hope that our efforts, aligned with many key groups in Chicago, will prompt a more well-defined plan that allows us to make a definitive decision on show status. In the meantime, exhibitors will hear from us every week. Please check regularly, and if you have any questions please reach out to the PMMI Trade Show Department at 571.612.3200 or [email protected].

PMMI’s Show Approach for a Safe and Productive Event: Please visit our COVID-19 Safety Page for updates on what we are doing to provide a safe and productive event in November.


What to Expect in the Coming Weeks

We are continuing to plan for a successful show and are fully committed to opening as scheduled on November 8, 2020.

Exhibitors: Webinar Series to Assist Your Planning

Through the assistance of the PMMI Media Group, we are producing a series of helpful webinars to tackle operational and promotional topics during these unprecedented times.

June 9, 2020 2:00pm EDT

Don’t Fall for List Scams Targeting Marketers

Presented by Elizabeth Kachoris, Senior Director, Digital & Data-PMMI Media Group

June 30, 2020 2:00pm EDT

7 Ways to Fuel Your Website Leads

Presented by Sarah Loeffler, Director, Media Innovation & Marketing Insights-PMMI Media Group

July 13, 2020 2:00pm EDT

How Shoppable Does Your Content Make You?

Presented by Sarah Loeffler, Director, Media Innovation & Marketing Insights-PMMI Media Group

In a special UnPACKed with PMMI podcast series, PMMI’s members offer their guidance around managing business operations during the COVID-19 crisis, how packaging is playing a vital role in helping society through these unfamiliar times, and best practices for keeping the industry strong and connected. 
























PMMI has produced a series of weekly presentations called "COVID-19 and Your Business" with guest speakers from both suppliers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to discuss solutions to the challenges in the packaging supply chain during this current pandemic. Below you will see the list of pre-recorded town hall presentations available as a resource to you.

  • June 4 - What Does Back to Work Look Like for Field Service Technicians - Coming Soon
  • May 7 - Ideas for Bringing Workers Back to the Office
  • April 22 - International Perspectives from PMMI Members with a Global Presence
  • April 16 - Business and Tax Policy Update: COVID-19 Relief for PMMI Members
  • April 9 - PMMI Member Executives Discuss Manufacturing Business Issues
  • April 2 - PMMI Members and End Users from the OpX Leadership Network Executive Council Discuss Operational Challenges
  • March 26 - Managing and Supporting Your Staff and Customers

NEW Webinar Recording – Economic Update with ITR Economics Webinar 
One of our most popular ELC sessions went virtual. Hear a 90-minute update from ITR Economics on the economy for the rest of 2020 and 2021 and how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the economy, your customers and your business. This recorded webinar is available for you to view and share with your team. Access other videos and webinars from the virtual ELC here.

McCormick Place, like other convention centers around the country, is doing its part to assist in the COVID-19 crisis and has converted an exhibit hall into what they are referring to as an "alternate care facility". This is another great example of organizations doing their part to assist with the hospital bed shortage in certain parts of the country, and PMMI is grateful to have a partner that is willing and able to assist with these efforts.  

McCormick Place began taking patients on April 20.  Thankfully just 5 days after opening, officials stated that they have scaled back their plans from 3,000 beds to 1,000 beds and did not even open a planned 1,750 bed hall in response to the flattening of the curve.  To date, they have only seen less than a dozen patients.

PMMI is in regular communication with McCormick Place and will share additional information as it becomes available from the building, including the processes that will be in place to properly sanitize and clean the facility so the building can re-open for events.  McCormick Place intends to be back open for business in July, well in advance of PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging EXPO this November. 

Please read this update from McCormick Place that highlights how they plan to clean the facility prior to hosting any events as well as visit the coronavirus page on their website.

PMMI has created a library of resources in an effort to provide support that will be updated regularly, not only for the membership but the industry-at-large. 

Please bookmark the PMMI Resource Page that includes items such as:

  • PMMI Podcasts
  • Relevant articles from Packaging World, ProFood World and much more
  • Resources from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
New Report Projects that End Users will Invest in Packaging Operations Following COVID-19

The May 2020 Packaging Machinery Purchasing Index report shows end users in the personal care and pharmaceutical/medical device industries are optimistic about increased equipment investment heading into 2021, and those in the food sector report expanded use of cobots/robots. This monthly PMMI Business Intelligence report looks at projected activity, use of technologies and general business conditions across six CPG categories.

Please contact the PMMI Show Department at [email protected] or 571.612.3200 should you have any questions or concerns.  PMMI is here with you and for you. We are in unprecedented times, but we are confident in the resilience of our industry.

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