Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

NPE Rewind: Survey Says, Technology is Central

npe_technologyFrom the moment McCormick Place’s West Hall was added to the facility inventory for NPE2009, every possible effort was made to ensure that this facility was “filled to the brim” with technology.  In the West Hall, we featured all eight co-located education programs. That’s more than 1,000 presentations at one show (enough to make even the most academically-centric plastics professional drool with anticipation).

Featuring the Business of Plastics Conference, ANTEC, the Moldmaking and Time Compression Conferences, NPE2009’s education program gave all participants a glimpse at where the industry is headed. On the show floor there were concept parts and products at the International Design Competition, a first time event at NPE. Over 10,000 people voted online in our “People’s Choice” awards program.  In addition, visitors couldn’t help but notice the large Technology Theater that graced the show floor, or the Fluoropolymers, Air Compression, Thermoforming, or Contract Manufacturers pavilions.  But that is just the beginning of the story.

At the conclusion of NPE2009, SPI staff were pleasantly surprised that the West Hall actually out shone all of the other halls in terms of lead generation! What, you say?  That’s right!  And to confirm this apparent anomaly, our research and survey’s support that technology is the main reason that people attend the show.

Following NPE2009, surveys were sent to exhibitors, attendees and people who couldn’t make the trip to the show.  The surveys were developed to measure in detail the overall experience of the show, what drives them to attend, and what factors prohibit participation.  The results summarize that seeing  working technology (followed by the cost to attend) was the top driver for attendance. And for exhibitors, the ability to show their technology (followed by cost to exhibitor) is paramount to their ability to participate.

Knowing that new technology is the focus of visitors to NPE, how can we ensure that our halls continue to reflect the latest technological trends in the marketplace?  Great question!  At SPI, we are working with the NPE Committees to do everything we can to create an environment that gives our exhibitors the best possible chance to display — and run – this new technology. (Just like there is  little sense in visiting a car lot if you can’t take a test drive!).

As a result of these factors, the NPE Committees are doing their due diligence to determine what can be done to continue to make “Technology Central” at future NPEs!

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