On April 13, Anaheim, California, was the epicenter of Sterile Packaging Day celebrations. With thousands in attendance or exhibiting at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West (MD&M) show at the Anaheim Convention Center, Sterilization Packaging Manufacturers Council (SPMC®) member company representatives convened with customers, suppliers, and one another for the first time in several years.
“All of us wanted to mark the occasion in a special way,” says Don Alip, director of product excellence, healthcare, at Amcor Flexibles, and chair of the SPMC®’s marketing committee.
Member companies shared the premiere of the Sterile Packaging Day video with their teams, hosted Sterile Packaging Day celebrations in their booths, and distributed Sterile Packaging Day commemorative items. “After being apart for so long, it felt good to recognize the collaborative spirit of our industry in creative and meaningful ways,” Alip adds. “We all wanted our networks to know that we truly are ‘Better Together.’”
In addition to the member company celebrations, Informa Markets, the producer of MD&M West, featured Sterile Packaging Day within its daily email digests, exposing thousands of people to the event for the first time.
The SPMC® and Informa also teamed up with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive the day after Sterile Packaging Day. (One of the SPMC®’s suggested ways to celebrate Sterile Packaging Day is by organizing a blood drive.)
“For the SPMC®, it was important that we live by our values,” explains Amy Stewart, product development manager at Printpack. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, so every pint counts.”
Stewart already is outlining plans for next year’s blood drive to increase participation and make it easier for attendees to get involved.
Online celebrations of Sterile Packaging Day spanned the supply chain and reached around the globe. The SPMC®’s shareable graphics were used by dozens of individuals and companies to commemorate the day, honor colleagues, and salute the industry.
Custom graphics and messages graced social media and were accompanied by the hashtags #SterilePackagingDay and #BetterTogether. On LinkedIn, organizations—ranging from DuPont™ Tyvek® Medical and Pharmaceutical Packaging to Packaging Compliance Labs to Network Partners—created and uploaded Sterile Packaging Day videos.
The SPMC® premiered a celebratory two-minute video on its webpage and LinkedIn channel featuring the voices of representatives from the SPMC®’s member companies as they explained how the entire supply chain is better together in 2022.
The video ended with an animated word cloud that spelled ‘Better Together’ using the nearly 50 individual words the SPMC® had collected from others describing what ‘Better Together’ meant to them. The animation also formed the basis of a commemorative animated GIF that visitors can download from the Sterile Packaging Day’s webpage, which can be found at www.sterilizationpackaging.org/sterile-packaging-day/2022.
“After two years of isolation and uncertainty, coming together for the second Sterile Packaging Day was extremely rewarding,” Alip says. “There is no substitute for shaking hands, sitting down, and meeting with people.
Lourdes Pogue is partner and creative director at Merakke. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.