Q: Can suppliers get on panels or present at EBS?

A: This is not that kind of event. You don't get added to a panel as a speaker. It's purely under editorial control and the panelists are end users and consultants. There aren't OEMs. Kim may amplify/clarify.




Q: Hey All, regarding the EBS target audience, will you provide anything you can about the audience? For example, a) annual revenue, b) industries, c) years in business, d) number of employees. I realize it is a moving target, so just provide what you can/are able. A few clients are expressing concern that the attendee companies may be too young to purchase their expensive capital equipment and they may, therefore, be too early in the sales process by participating.

A1: The grant is something separate, so please don't focus on that, as it doesn't have any material impact with regard to selling tabletops to EBS. (More on it later.) We DO, however, collect the full PACK EXPO registration data on every EBS attendee. They actually have to register for PACK EXPO in order to get access to EBS. So yes, annual revenue, industries are collected, along with all the other fields that exhibitors are used to seeing, including the machinery buying interest question. (The PACK EXPO form does not collect years in business and number of employees [reason: because it's proxy for company size, and our company size metric is now annual revenues], so that data will not be collected.)


In addition to all the standard PACK EXPO registration questions, EBS attendees specifically have to answer this question:


Which best captures your company’s plans to scale manufacturing in the next two years? (Select all that apply.) 

Using a commercial kitchen or equivalent pilot-scale manufacturing 

Seeking/considering a contract manufacturer 

Seeking/considering our own processing and/or packaging equipment 

Seeking to add or change packaging suppliers (films, containers, etc.) 


This question captures where they are in their growth stage. The third answer will help OEMs focus on those that will want to manufacture themselves.


Finally, please don't forget about materials companies. They are a HUGE prospect for EBS because regardless of whether you manufacture in-house or outsource, you need packaging materials! Even big materials companies may be interested. Liz already knows this, but for example Silgan has a promotion "Free closures for a year" targeting emerging brands. (Interest in materials is collected via that fourth answer).


Bottom line, it's well known that emerging brands gravitate toward co-man and co-pack, but there's also a strong interest in self-manufacture with some emerging brands. It just depends on where they are in their life cycle. A huge selling point is that once an OEM gets in with an emerging brands, if these guys take off, the OEM has the power of incumbency status, and they can ride the coattails to many years of profitable business selling machines. Please emphasis this point in your selling. It's as much about total customer lifetime value.


Ask your customer who is on the fence. Would you want to risk leaving a potential superstar high-growth company to a competitor? Or do you want to get in on the ground floor of tomorrow's customer?


A2: We have a robust marketing campaign run out of Chicago that will definitely highlight the content to attract the audience. Regarding our existing bank of emerging brands names, these are really cannabis and craft brew names cobbled together (which is why there's very little digital) plus a handful of others we have in our database. We're going to be building over the next several years a more robust, authentic database of diversified emerging brands through this event, the grants, which you'll learn more about later, and a year-round initiative called the Emerging Brands Alliance. The idea is to transition away from this cobbled-together craft brew/cannabis-mostly database to an authentic, engaged emerging brands database.


A3: You WILL get asked, "What are the criteria for an emerging brands"? It turns out there is no simple answer to this question. We've discussed this extensively internally with Glen Long, Tom Egan and others who have decades of industry experience. We've also talked with a lot of people in the emerging brands community. We are using $20M and under as a convenient dividing point but this belies the incredibly complexity of this market. There are $50M and $100M companies that many on the buyer and supplier side would consider emerging. And there are just as many who would consider those types of companies as "emerged". This also has to do with funding. Some may have $5M of revenue but have $100M of funding behind them. THERE IS NO SIMPLE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION. It seems that what constitutes an emerging brand is very much in the eye of the beholder. What I can tell you is that Kim is forging authentic partnerships with many emerging brands communities to plug us into places that have never even heard of PMMI or PACK EXPO, reaching new, young companies who are growing. We are also planning robust marketing including to the Natural Products Expo exhibitors database. This is a full-throated effort unlike anything PMMI or PMMI Media Group has ever done before. For those customers who want a guaranteed result served on a silver platter, all I can say is, we are really reaching out into places we normally never go, and we're putting together a fabulous program with the goal of getting everyone in the room together. There will be people who will be a good fit for them and those who will not. Jump in and join us. If your customers are remotely interested in this segment, they should be part of this effort.