What You Need to Know About PLMA

PLMA, the Private Label Manufacturers Association, is a non-profit trade association that was founded in 1979. Whether you are attending as a visitor, an exhibitor, or have just been considering, we have the essentials you should know!
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Everything You Need to Know about PLMA

Who? What? Where?

PLMA was founded with the purpose of connecting private label retailers and manufacturers. Now it is known to be the focal point of one of the largest concentrations of private label professionals in the industry. PLMA welcomes more than 28,000 visitors, from over 120 countries, to explore the 3000 exhibitors. PLMA’s 28,000 visitors are representing supermarkets, drugstores, department stores, as well as importers and exporters, manufacturers, consultants, sales again, and packaging and design experts. These professionals work internationally, continent-wide, regionally, or just in their country. No matter the scale they work on, PLMA gives an opportunity for each party to discover new products, make new contacts, and discover new ideas to help their business find success and growth. PLMA is regularly held in the spring. This year, 2024, it falls on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28 and 29 at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre. This trade show costs around €250-€300 per visitor. PLMA exhibits both food and non-food categories. Food ranges from baby food to seafood to ice cream. Even packaging is included with food! On the non-food side, some categories are hygiene products, hair and skin care, household products, ingredients and raw materials, pet food and accessories, and non-food packaging.

Mini Survival Guide for the PLMA Buyer

While the trade show's main exhibit dates are Tuesday and Wednesday, opportunities for buyers truly begin on Monday. Monday from 12:00 - 18:00 is the first time for visitor badge pick-up. In between those times, you will find that there are plenty of opportunities to kick-off your PLMA experience. From 13:00 - 14:00, there will be workshops available, and from 14:00 - 16:00, there will be Pre-Show Seminars. These smaller events give a great chance to get to know the event center, which exhibitors you’ll want to make connections with, and new ideas for growing your business. After our intro day on Monday, PLMA will be pushed into full gear. Tuesday will have badge pick-up beginning at 08:00, one hour before the show floor opens at 09:00. Badge pick-up rush hour will be from 08:00 - 10:00. The floor will be open from as early as 09:00 to closing at 18:30. Tuesday provides another event to the show floor throughout the showing times. This event is the Idea Supermarket and New Product Expo. The mentioned events give a high chance of starting relationships with new vendors, discovering new business opportunities, and finding more efficient products. Online registration for visitors is necessary. If you would like to apply for a registration link, here is the application webpage directly from the PLMA website: Pro-Tip: Our pro-tip for our buyers is to come with a strategy, a game plan if you will. Choose the day and time to retrieve your visitor badge. Take a second, or a few, to look at the event floor plan. Find where the exhibitors you most need to meet are located. With there being just under 3000 exhibitors, you cannot mosey your way through the event. It is a must, and the best tip we can give, to map out your days at PLMA.

The Mini Survival Guide for PLMA Exhibitors

To start us off, we will address the PLMA schedule for exhibitors. Stand Build-Up will begin 25.05 at 08:00 and be open until 20:00. On 26.05, Build-Up will be at the same hours as the previous day. However, Sunday will have Exhibitor Badge Pick-Up, as well. This will be from 09:00 - 18:00. Monday morning will resume with Stand Build-Up from 08:00-18:00, which are also the hours for Exhibitor Badge Pick-Up that day. Monday will be the first day visitors will be allowed to explore the event center. Workshops and seminars for visitors will be held 27.05 from 13:00-16:00. On 28.05, the trade show will officially begin. From 07:30 - 09:00, show floor access will be granted for exhibitors only. Here will be your time to add finishing touches to your booth and prepare everything you may need for the day. Exhibitors will have their badge pick-up on Tuesday from 07:30 - 18:00. The trade show floor will be open to visitors from 09:00 - 18:30. There is not permitted access to exhibitors after 18:30 on Tuesday. Wednesday morning, exhibitor access will be from 08:00 - 09:00 with badge pick-up starting at 08:00 and ending at 15:30. On Wednesday, the final day of the show, the floor will be open from 09:00 - 16:30. After 16:30, visitors will be required to leave and exhibitors will have the floor to take down until 23:00. Thursday, 30.05, will be the Final Stand Breakdown from 08:00 - 17:00. All exhibitors' property must be removed by 17:00. Please note that proper safety shoes are necessary for all build-up and breakdown periods. Online registration for exhibitors in 2024 closed. Request for application for 2025 PLMA can be found here: While PLMA is naturally a great chance for buyers to approach suppliers, this does not mean exhibitors are welcomed to relax and have an easy going time at PLMA. Each exhibitor is divided into 9 food and 5 non-food halls. Chances are, there will be another company that provides the same service you do. Distinguishing yourself from the others will be crucial. With 16.000 trade professionals in attendance, it will be important to grab and hold the attention of visitors quickly. With that being said, here is our pro-tip for exhibitors: Our pro-tip is to be hospitable. Be hospitable in all aspects of your show, not solely your actions. The best way to make sure you are a well-rounded hospitable person is to address the 5 senses. 1. Eyes: What will the visitor see? Do we want our company to be presented sloppily? The answer should definitely be, “No!” All presenters in the booth should be cohesive with what they are wearing. This does not mean they have to be matching perfectly, but fluid and similar dress with a well-groomed standard should be expected. While this may seem funny, this standard should also apply to the booth. Your booth should be fluid with the staff’s dress, kept clean, and feel inviting. 2. Ears: No one likes to feel pitched right away. When that visitor walks into your booth, don’t ignore them and don’t immediately bombard them. As mentioned, approach them in a hospitable manner. Ask them how they are doing, how the show is going so far, find out what they are looking for, etc. Use warm, confident body language to investigate what they are looking for. From that point, you can pitch them your company and how you can remedy their corporate issues. 3. Mouth: As you know, trade shows can be so much fun, but also very long and tedious. Having a small snack or drink available for interested visitors will ease their weariness, give you a great chance to chat with them, and potentially drive traction to your booth just for the treats. 4. Nose: Strong smells are going to overwhelm some visitors, but scents that are warm, inviting, and subtle will drive them to you instead of away. One of the most popular scents is ‘warm cookies’. Everyone loves the smell of baked goods. They are a bit of a soft scent, which does not overpower and overwhelm. Perhaps purchasing a warm and inviting scented candle is a tactic worth considering. 5. Touch: Pitching visitors at PLMA requires skillful sales. People hear the same types of pitches all day. What makes you different? People won’t immediately remember your numbers or statistics. What they will remember is whether or not you can solve their pain point or worry they are seeking solutions for. Pitching your cause is a playful dance between fact and feeling. Give them your stats and numbers, but don’t forget to touch their hearts. As an exhibitor, creating a hospitable environment through addressing the 5 senses, you will find greater success and truthfully, enjoy your time at PLMA more. In conclusion, PLMA is a great opportunity for buyers and suppliers to make new, real, and necessary connections. While the busy schedule, the large event center, and the thousands of people can be daunting, PLMA is a doable and exciting time to look forward to. Conquering PLMA successfully is possible through being confident. As a visitor, strategize and map where you want to go and in what order, and be aware of rush hours! As an exhibitor, be as hospitable as you can. Welcome and invite the visitors around you. Do your research and come well prepared. All these pro-tips we mentioned throughout will make you confident and a PLMA champion.

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