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3/24/2015 | 2 MINUTE READ

Will NPE2015 be the most successful NPE ever?

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The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) is already proclaiming NPE2015 (March 23-27; Orlando, FL) is the most successful NPE in the 69-year history of the show.


When the final count is made, SPI expects the number of exhibiting companies to match or exceed the record of 2,009 set at NPE2000. In net exhibit space, NPE2015 is already the largest NPE in its history, with the amount of purchased and bartered exhibit space exceeding the previous record set at NPE2000 and surpassing 1,100,000 net square feet.


“I never thought we would top a million square feet,” said Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI, at the press breakfast on the opening day of NPE. He cited the revitalization of manufacturing, low energy costs and an increase in productivity in manufacturing as some of the reasons for growth.


In fact, in terms of square footage, NPE is the second largest U.S. trade show, with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas coming in first.


Other facts: about 43% of NPE2015 exhibitors have come to the show directly from other countries—37 nations in all. In descending order of number of exhibitors, the 10 largest participating countries are China, Canada, Italy, Taiwan, Germany, India, Turkey, Switzerland, France, and South Korea. These figures include many companies based in other countries but exhibiting through their U.S. subsidiaries.


Many international exhibitors can be found in multi-exhibitor “country” pavilions representing Austria, Canada, China, France, India, Portugal, Qatar, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey.


The number of individual companies represented is an estimated 21,350, or 11% more than NPE2012.


Reflecting the internationalization of NPE, 28% of visitors will come from countries outside the United States, including nearly 6,000 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.


More than 600 exhibitors have brought equipment to the show, and over 400 are operating machines on the show floor. Material suppliers, too, have come to NPE2015 in force, and 13 of them are maintaining large “customer service centers” occupying a total of 56,000 square feet of space just off the exhibit floor.


Orlando is the future


Get used to heading to the Sunshine State every three years. SPI also announced it will keep NPE at the Orange County Convention Center in 2018 and 2021 and has reserved dates for NPE2024.


Gene Sanders, vice president of trade shows for SPI, said that there is room to grow for the future shows and the OCCC plans to add about 75,000 square feet of ballroom space.