Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Bill Carteaux Addresses Rumors about NPE2009

President's Post

Today’s issue of Plastics News reports on the NPE trade show buzz now fueling the rumor mill. SPI fully accepts and endorses editor Robert Grace’s viewpoint about the responsibility of all trade press to report all developments deemed significant for readers — even if it’s news that we don’t like to hear!  But news is more than isolated facts — context is crucial.

So let’s consider the facts:  The NPE2009 space cancellations received to date amount to 3% of total space contracted, which is on par with the percentage at the same time for the NPE2006 show cycle. In other words, it’s normal activity.  At the same time, SPI continues to sell an average of 2,000 additional square feet per week. And while total paid exhibit space thus far is about the same as it was for NPE2006, 130 more paid exhibitors have signed on than by the same time three years ago. And we also have a greater number of multi-exhibitor “country” pavilions — we now have 18 as opposed to the 14 we had at this time in 2006.  While a vocal minority has pulled off the exhibit floor, NPE2009 has won an overwhelming vote of support from the majority of our industry’s most influential suppliers, processors and OEMs — who will be present at the show.

Dow will underwrite the co-located ANTEC conference, and both Dow and DuPont will sponsor our new Emerging Technologies Pavilion. The GE Plastics product line, conspicuous by its absence from the 2006 show, is back in 2009 under the name SABIC Innovative Plastics. Several prominent and world-leading plastics processing companies will exhibit for the first time and plan elaborate booths. The list of world-scale machinery builders planning to exhibit, from Arburg to Wittmann-Battenfeld (we have no Zs exhibiting) is equally impressive. As is our growing attendee list to date, which already includes the top companies from all the major end-use markets-including Apple, Intel, Toyota, GM, Mitsubishi, Baxter Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Bauch & Lomb, Raytheon, etc. In fact, more than 170,000 VIP passes have already been distributed across all major global markets.

Those are the facts, my friends.  And there’s more to consider.  As Bob Grace points out, SPI has worked hard to expand the NPE event far beyond the traditional trade show core. Besides ANTEC (with a record 700-plus papers) and SPI’s own “Business of Plastics” conference (we now have more than 100 presentations scheduled), there will be five other co-located conferences and expositions. Then there is the first International Plastics Design Competition, the new types of specialty pavilions and other innovations.

The fact is, NPE2009 will be the largest concentration of exhibits and conferences ever held in the global plastics industry. So the next time you hear the rumor mill churning, consider the context. And rest assured that NPE2009 remains on track to be a success.

I look forward to seeing you in Chicago this June.

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