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1/21/2011 | 1 MINUTE READ

NPE '12 Booth Draw: More Reason for Optimism

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First there was the K'10 show, a smashing success by most accounts for the global plastics industry.

First there was the K'10 show, a smashing success by most accounts for the global plastics industry. Then, under the umbrella of parent company Gardner Publications Inc., Plastics Technology released the results of its annual capital-spending survey, which indicated that North American plastics processors are going to invest in new equipment and technology in 2011 to an extent far greater than recent memory.  Then Jan. 12-14, the Society of the Plastics Industry held its booth draw for space for NPE'12, which for the first time in the history of the show will be held in Orlando, Fla.

The overall positive mood, reflected in the amount of booth space suppliers picked during the draw and in the sentiments they expressed over current business conditions, was the third piece of evidence I have seen in just a few short months suggesting our business in clearly in turnaround mode.

 According to a release issued by the SPI, companies that selected their booths at the draw (also held in Orlando), combined with others that had made their choices last year in a special "Pre-Drawing," contracted for 664,525 sq.ft. of exhibit space. With 14 months to go before NPE'12 that number is already equal to 87% of the final on-site total of occupied space at the last NPE, in 2009. The number of exhibitors signed on by the conclusion of the drawing on January 14 was 758. Since then, more companies have applied for space at NPE'12, including a number that had monitored the drawing online in streaming video.

“The booth selections thus far almost completely fill the West Hall of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, and the South Hall is filling up quickly,” said Gene Sanders, SPI’s senior vice president of trade shows. “Fortunately the North Hall will be available for NPE'12, since we will need to expand into that facility.”

The show itself will be held April 1-5 at Orlando's Orange Country Convention Center. I'm looking at it as a coming out party for an industry bouncing back from some brutal years marked by business shutdowns, layoffs and various other unpleasantries.  Be a part of the celebration. For more on the show log on to npe.org.