Final Tally: NPE2018 Sets New Benchmarks for Space, Exhibitors

A more than 7% jump in exhibitors and a 9% jump in total exhibition space, as well as a 1.7% increase in confirmed registered attendees officially made NPE2018 the largest NPE on record, besting NPE2015 which had previously toppled NPE2000 as the biggest ever.


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In a release, the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), which organizes the triennial event, reported the final tallies for the show, which ran May 7-11 at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla.

NPE2018 featured 2,174 exhibiting companies occupying more than 1.2 million net square feet of sold-out exhibit floor space, surpassing NPE2015, which registered with 2,029 exhibitors over 1,128,200 net square feet. PLASTICS hired a data analytics firm that specializes in trade shows to review attendance, using NPE2015 as a benchmark. That firm determined that attendance at NPE2018 rose by 1.7 percent over that of NPE2015 to 56,034 confirmed registered attendees. Those attendees came from almost 19,000 unique companies and their nights spent in hotel rooms also increased by 3.2% to 65,632.

The largest ever group of exhibitors brought plenty of equipment with them as well, making NPE2018 the heaviest show on record, with more than 21.7 million pounds of freight shipped into the OCCC.

International participation also increased at NPE2018 over NPE2015, with 49% (up from 44%) of exhibiting companies and 27% (up from 26%) of registrants coming from outside of the United States. A total of 121 different countries were represented, with 3,351 and 3,965 registrants hailing from China and Latin America, respectively.

Exhibiting companies came from 35 nations with representatives from those companies hailing from 63 countries outside the United States. The 10 countries with the largest number of participating exhibiting companies were, in order: China, Canada, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, India, France, Turkey, Switzerland and Austria.

At NPE2018, PLASTICS also announced the dates for the next three shows, which will be held at the OCCC.

  • NPE2021: May 17-21, 2021
  • NPE2024: May 6-10, 2024
  • NPE2027: May 3-7, 2027


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