Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Monday, opening day of the expo at NPE2012 in Orlando, Florida, was expected to be busy time for SPI’s Senior VP of Trade Shows Gene Sanders (ExpoGene). Happy to say, it turned out to be at least as busy for the exhibitors and the many attendees.
From the warm reception we got at the press breakfast to the final whistle at the NCAA Finals Party, NPE2012’s opening day of exhibits rocked! For those not present, we “Broke the Mold” at the opening ceremony, literally. And from the gracious comments by NPE2012 Show Chairman John Effmann, SPI’s Chairman of the Board Jay Cude, and Louisiana Senator David Vitter, to the Proclamation by the Mayor that this is NPE2012 Week here in Orlando, the words were warm, the event was upbeat, and the response was fantastic. Don’t worry, I left out Carteaux on purpose.
SPI’s CEO Bill Carteaux started the proceedings with a rousing welcome to all attendees and exhibitors, and a thank you to the industry for its obvious willingness to take this leap of faith into Orlando. After breaking the mold built by Roger Klouda’s MSI Mold Builders, everyone started throwing oranges at one another—foam oranges, that is. It was clear the Mayor had done this before. She was firing them into the crowd like Roger Clemens at his peak!
We then proceeded into the expo hall, accompanied by a marching band (more jazz than march) to the woo-hoos of exhibitors and attendees alike. I have to tell you, Bill was beaming…all day, and he had good reason to. After the procession completed its West Hall run (yes the band was still with us), we walked the bridge to the South Hall (the band was starting to sweat), and on into the expo floor (someone had to perform mouth to mouth on the tuba player). After ascending the hall back to the lobby we were ad amazed by what we saw…long lines at the registration desks. Bill said, “Man this is great.” (I called to see if maybe the computers were broken.)
Registration lines, reports of crowds at the airport, and huge check-in numbers from the hotels were nothing compared to the crowds we had on the show floor. We
even ran out of maps.
The day ended with parties and receptions, followed by the Gardner Publications/NPE2012 Basketball extravaganza, where attendees and exhibitor gathered to relax, enjoy the Championship game, and do a little bit of networking. What a day!
In the end, Bill, who is a barometer for our industry, was so excited that he sported a perma-smile, much like the character Woody in Toy Story. As a matter of fact, he and Woody had a lot in common. Despite a long journey and hard work, both their days had happy endings
Looking forward to Tuesday, I am, as always, Expogene “On The Scene.”
Images from opening day at NPE 2012 in Orlando, Florida—April 2, 2012