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PTXPO: Present at the Creation

PTXPO 2022 ribbon cutting

Gardner’s Allison Kline Miller, Ryan Delahanty and Rick Kline cut the ribbon on the inaugural PTXPO, alongside Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens.

Held March 29-31 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. the two-and-a-a-half day show went from brainstormed concept to concrete event in less than a year, seeking to scratch a geographic and time-based itch for an industry and a region craving an event after a pandemic-induced absence.

In a particularly unnerving way, creating a wholly new trade show is a little like preparing a giant party. You’ve pulled out all the stops to have everything there guests could want, asking industry associates to set up at your new party, and once all the decorations are up, the music is playing and the treats and favors are arranged, you’re just anxiously hoping the folks that RSVPed to your invitation actually show up.

Right after Gardner’s Allison Kline Miller, Ryan Delahanty and Rick Kline cut the ribbon on the inaugural show, alongside Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens, the invitees to our new plastics party did indeed show up.

Long limited to admiring new technology on a screen over a Zoom call, these processors were now congregating around running equipment and tactile displays in the real world. In addition to seeking out new technologies, attendees and exhibitors sought out old acquaintances, shaking hands and embracing colleagues they’d only viewed on screens in recent years.

No party ever goes completely as planned or escapes inevitable issues, but as event organizers go, few are as conscientious as Gardner when it comes to fixing problems and striving towards the best possible experience, taking lessons learned into PTXPO 2023. To everyone who joined us in Chicago—attendees and exhibitors alike—thanks for coming out in one very welcome step down the path to normalcy.  

(Video by PT’s Digital Editor Sarah Barnett)

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