Issue: Sep 2015


US plastics industry making a “strong comeback”



US plastics industry making a “strong comeback”

by Charlita Wright-Pinnock

Record crowds and participation in plastics industry showcase NPE2015 point to resurgence of the sector, particularly in the United States.

“NPE2015 is the most successful NPE in the 69-year history of the show, with the largest trade show, the most extensive educational agenda, the broadest array of special programs, and the greatest diversity of attendees,” says William R. (Bill) Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI, which founded and produces the triennial event. “Clearly one reason for this success is that the U.S. plastics industry has made a strong comeback, a resurgence that has attracted NPE participants from across the country and around the world.”

Another force for the success of NPE2015 has been strong backing by the industry, noted Gene Sanders, SPI’s senior vice president in charge of trade shows and conferences: “Since its founding by SPI in 1946, NPE has been our industry’s defining event — produced by our trade association, guided by NPE Committee volunteers from many companies, and supported by exhibitors and attendees who know the importance of NPE for showcasing innovation and generating new business.”

The expo and a range of conferences took place March 23-27 in Orlando, Florida. NPE2015 attracted 2,029 exhibitors covering over 1,128,200 net square feet (104,813 sq.m) of exhibition space — exceeding the previous records of 2,009 exhibitors and 1,041,000 net square feet (96,712 sq.m) set in 2000. Registered attendance for NPE2015 was 65,810 — 19% greater than three years ago. These registrants came from 23,396 unique companies — 22% more than the 19,198 companies at NPE2012 — representing a substantial increase in buying potential, according to Carteaux.

Reflecting the internationalization of NPE, 26% of visitors came from countries outside the United States, including nearly 5,000 from Latin America. The International Buyers Program (IBP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that for NPE2015 it recruited one of the largest numbers of delegates from foreign countries in the history of the IBP program, which works with hundreds of U.S. trade shows.

In descending order of number of exhibitors, the 10 largest participating countries out of a total of 37 were China, Taiwan, Canada, Italy, Germany, India, Turkey, France, Switzerland, and South Korea. These figures don’t include companies that are based in other countries but exhibited through their US subsidiaries.

“What made NPE2015 a milestone in the 69-year history of NPE was not only its size and international diversity, but also the richness of its offerings to attendees,” said Carteaux. “The hundreds of machines operating on the show floor, the customer service centers provided by material suppliers, the pavilions and programs on current issues and emerging technologies, the extensive agenda of co-located conferences—this wealth of content surpassed our previous shows and now provides a guideline for making future NPEs even more attractive to participants. The plastics industry should be truly proud of its show”.

NPE2018 will take place Monday through Friday, May 7-11, 2018, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.



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