Friday, April 6th, 2012

NPE2012 Closes Amid Enthusiastic Reviews from Exhibitors and Visitors

After NPE2012 closed its doors, your intrepid blogger and SPI’s Senior VP for Trade Shows Gene Sanders filed a quick report—while standing on a cloud of enthusiastic input from exhibitors, visitors, and one-time doubters.

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At 5:00pm EDT, Thursday, April 5, the NPE 2012 edition closed its doors, ending one of the more remarkable stories in NPE and tradeshow history. It was fitting that SPI’s 75th Anniversary marked a significant new chapter in that history as it is being written.

“They” said we shouldn’t do it. “They” said people wouldn’t come. “They” said Orlando couldn’t handle the show. “They” thought we were crazy. “They” were all wrong!

The SPI and NPE industry leadership decided this was the right move for the show, and a much needed boost for the industry. “They” were right!

Over 55,000 attendees, a record number of exhibiting companies, and an attendee base made up of buyers, not tire kickers, a warm climate, a gracious, efficient facility, and an enthusiastic staff of staff professionals was the perfect recipe for a terrific show. Of course there were issues that needed to be handled, but they could be counted on one hand.

Asked what it was like moving the show to Orlando, I could only respond by saying that is was akin to someone who re-pots a beloved plant and nurtures it in its new environs. In this case, we took a big old tree, removed it, roots and all, and transplanted it to an entirely new climate. We didn’t know for absolute certain how or if it would thrive, but with care, attention, a lot of hard work and tough love, it is now stronger than ever.

Let me simply quote a few comments I heard yesterday to sum up the experience. “Our guys can’t get the quotes out fast enough”; “We had over 1,200 leads compared to “600+ in 2009”; “Our problem now is figuring out how to fill the orders”; “This is our first show and we paid for our investment three times over on the first day”; and finally from a buyer and longtime attendee “This has been the best show I’ve ever attended, as there were more of my suppliers than I can ever remember, well organized, and in one location. Thank you so much!”

So thank you to all who participated in the show: attendees, exhibitors, suppliers, NPE2012 committees, the SPI volunteer leadership, contractors and staff, to all we truly appreciate your support. And we have just 1081 days until NPE2015! And so, for now, I am ExpoGene “On the scene”!

Images From the Closing Day of NPE2012 in Orlando—April 5, 2012

Images of NPE2012 on closing day

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