ive demos are definitely an important aspect of exhibiting at PACK EXPO Connects. However, your virtual showroom is live for six months (until March 31, 2021). Beyond the demo itself, one of the great opportunities to enhance your showroom with very little effort while drawing in visitors with interactivity is through 3D interactive models of packaging and processing machinery. Whether you call it virtual reality or a digital twin, a computer screen with an interactive model of your machine that attendees can manipulate themselves is a great way to allow attendees to really interact with your equipment in a new and novel way.

Companies like Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Schneider Electric and more have sophisticated software solutions that result in a fully functioning simulation or digital twin.

However, designing a machine today invariably starts with CAD drawings, which morph into 3D models through modern CAD software. With the right sequence of steps, you can export an interactive model like this one from Nalbach Engineering Company. Check it out, you can spin the machine around, turn it over, look down from the top, even remove parts of the machine to inspect what's underneath. I asked my friend Ed Atwell, Nalbach's VP/Marketing, to explain how he produced this.

"Our engineering designs are done in 3D using Autodesk Inventor," Ed told me. "I imported the 3D model into Autodesk 3DS Max to set up the animations I wanted. I then exported the 3DS Max file as an FBX animation and then upload the FBX to Sketchfab."

The final product is a simple URL, which can be posted under your virtual showroom under "Collateral".  

A final thought. If you take the steps to do this, spend some time promoting it so that more people are likely to see it. Our Game Plan product is perfect for this, completely retooled for PACK EXPO Connects, and specializes in bringing this sort of thing to the attention of would-be attendees. Another great idea to promote this is our PACK EXPO Connects Exhibitor Preview e-newsletter product, which is sent by e-mail. Clicking on an interactive virtual model sent by email is highly enticing, and is perfectly suited to an interactive virtual event.

Talk to your engineering department about producing these interactive experiences. Worried about disclosing detailed intellectual property? Before you export your model, turn off the layers of the "guts" of the machine; show just enough to create a worthwhile attendee experience without giving away the store.

P.S. -- If you end up creating one of these, email me and we'll publicize it for you!

Aug 18, 2020
Virtual showroom

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