Innovation Takes Center Stage at Packaging Distributors of America's Annual Meeting

 When Packaging Distributors of America (PDA) kicked off its annual meeting in Chicago last month, innovation took center stage. The three-day conference provided the attendees from around the country with keynotes, breakout sessions, panel discussions and networking opportunities meant to spark creativity in all aspects of their packaging distribution business operations.

PDA is a membership organization comprised of owner-operated facilities across North American, with a combined annual revenue of nearly $2 billion and more than 25 million square feet of combined distribution center floor space. According to George Strobel, president, PDA, its mission is to enable ingenuity in packaging through shared best practices and developing new business for its membership, as well as distributors, suppliers and customers.

Noted speaker, author and professional development expert Jeff Havens gave the opening keynote, Uncrapify Your Future. He talked about leadership and generational and professional development issues rooted in open-mindedness and curiosity to set the tone for the conference. Havens is a contributing writer to Fast Company, Entrepreneur, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, and has been featured on CNBC and Fox Business.

Bestselling author Shawna Suckow gave the closing day keynote, Don’t Become Extinct – Join the Sales Evolution. She encouraged the audience to evolve to how their customers want to be communicated to and how they want to buy - or risk being left behind.

Panel discussions throughout the event encompassed major issues like sustainability in packaging as well as modern equipment, technology, multi-location accounts, how to maximize PDA relationships and capabilities, attracting and retaining top talent, sales and more. Presenters included experts from member organizations like Box Partners, B2B Industrial Packaging, BGR, Crownhill Packaging, Hughes, M-Line, Morisette, Intertape Polymer Group, Pacific Packaging, Pregis, RMH Systems, Rusco, Signode and LifDek.

“I think this was our best meeting yet. The theme of innovation energized and engaged attendees from the onset and the level of participation was phenomenal. Our keynote speakers were entertaining yet informative, and we had outstanding feedback on the value they brought,” said Strobel. “Our meetings are effective because our members lead so much of the agenda and the exchange of ideas and best practices and overall collaboration is exciting.”

“Attendees went home with fresh ideas, actionable information and, most importantly, reinforced confidence that PDA is there to support them in all their new endeavors,” he added.

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Source: Packaging Distributors of America

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