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June 6, 2024

PCL Team Members Recall Their Favorite Moments from the[PACK]out Conference 2024

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the[PACK]out returned for its third installment May 14-16, 2024, with medical packaging professionals and experts gathering over 2.5 days to learn more about current trends and topics in the industry. PCL team members Jenn Goff and Matt TerBush recall their favorite moments from the event. With over 30 sessions and more than 50 speakers to choose from, there were many insights to bring back from the event, Jenn and Matt share some of their favorite takeaways.

Opening Keynote: Building Strategic Networks – Jodi Glickman

Kicking off by presenting recurring collaboration and interdisciplinary learning, Jodi Glickman delivered the event’s opening keynote, Building Strategic Networks. Challenging the audience with the statement of “Your hard skills don’t matter,” Glickman encouraged attendees to view networking as an opportunity to support others, foster relationships and increase collaboration within the industry. In a room full of technical engineers and packaging professionals, the statement made a strong impression and helped set the tone for the rest of the conference.

While industry skills remain important, Goff and TerBush reflected on how Glickman’s keynote provided valuable insight into networking as experiences professionals can offer one another to progress the industry as opposed to what they might get from networking. Changing the perspective on networking allowed attendees to approach the keynotes and event’s sessions with new perspectives in mind.

Design and Materials Theme:

Following in the steps of incorporating different perspectives and challenging attendees to think differently, the event’s second day contained a Sustainability Track Theme, encouraging professionals in the industry to approach the topic in ways they might not have thought previously.

During packaging design and development, it’s easy to get caught up in the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality, TerBush explains. However, it’s important to always have the capacity to think of new designs and imagine how professionals can use materials in different ways. For instance, Goff explains how using the specs and characteristics of the materials themselves, and not their brand names, can help experts become more innovative in their packaging designs and material choices.

Day Two Keynote: Innovating in a Regulated Environment – Kim Chaffin, PhD, PE

The second and final keynote saw Kim Chaffin challenge attendees to approach situations with a new perspective and an innovative mind. Focusing on testing standards, Chaffin flipped the script by expressing different views and increased scope, encouraging the audience to do the same.

Chaffin explained that testing standards are the baseline, not the bar. Even with testing standards being updated to include both packaging and the device, there’s still room to go above and beyond. Testing standards are calling for additional perspectives and expertise to push innovation in the medical device and packaging industries.

Both Goff and TerBush appreciated Chaffin’s analogy of revisions to testing standards as a Jenga tower, with the first edition of a standard taking the form of a newly set up Jenga tower. But once the standard is revised,  a block of the tower must be moved and placed elsewhere. Eventually, too many blocks are rearranged, causing the tower to collapse, requiring innovation in testing practices and standards. Effective communication and interdisciplinary collaboration will allow teams and the industry to innovate and create new and effective practices within the testing standards.

Conclusion:

The[PACK]out’s third annual event brought professionals in the medical device and packaging industries together over 2.5 days to provide valuable insights, lessons and fun with plenty of experiences to bring home. Our team left feeling engaged, inspired, and ready to tackle big problems in industry. PCL is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the event and to have the chance to reflect on some of their favorite moments from the conference.

For more information about this year’s event, and to stay updated on future installments for the[PACK]out, visit https://thepackout.com/

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