Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

SPI Leaders Decide On Orlando!

President's Post
You’ve heard the rumors. You’ve read the industry papers and blogs. The grapevine is full of discussion that NPE is looking to change its 40-year tradition of being held in Chicago. Today, I want to say that…it’s ALL true!

NPE—The International Plastics Showcase—has a new home! I am pleased to announce that NPE, the triennial plastics industry expo and conference, will be moving to Orlando for 2012 and 2015. NPE2012 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center from April 1-5, and NPE2015 from March 22-26. As many of you know, this is big news! Founded by SPI in 1946, NPE had taken place at Chicago’s McCormick Place since 1971.

The move to Orlando was a decision made by the industry, for the industry. The SPI leadership, steered by the NPE Operations and Executive Committees, conducted a thorough review and analysis of the two contending host venues—Chicago and Orlando. In particular, NPE2012 Chairman John Effmann of ENTEK Manufacturing and Vice Chairman Jim Murphy of Davis Standard Corporation along with SPI Board Chairman Jim Buonomo of Nypro and Vice Chairman Chris Keller of The Conair Group deserve a pat on the back for the many hours they have spent personally reviewing the numbers and meeting with representatives from the two host venues. They have taken every aspect of the show into consideration along with the final proposals from the contenting host venues and presented their recommendation to the SPI Executive Board for final action. Here’s the bottom line: Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center will offer both exhibitors and attendees significant cost-savings that will continue the economic stimulus measures SPI enacted for NPE2009.

The NPE Operations Committee recommended Orlando after doing a systematic comparison of all possible venues. What we learned is that holding NPE2012 in Orlando would provide big reductions in the chief expenses incurred by exhibitors and attendees. These reductions could save the two groups an average of: 48% for booth utilities; 19% for on-site hauling (“drayage”) and rigging services for exhibitors; 23% on lodging; and 11% on overall travel. The savings on travel from the U.S. Midwest—a key plastics manufacturing region at whose heart is Chicago—would be even greater: 19%.  Finally, Orlando demonstrated a greater range in pricing than Chicago for hotels and restaurants, and lower costs for ground transportation expenses like cabs to and from the airport and convention center parking.

All in all, by moving the show to Orlando, SPI can save the plastics industry up to $20-million — which will play a substantial role in SPI’s mission to stimulate the plastics industry’s economic recovery.

And it’s not all about cost.  Orlando also was the clear winner with customer service. At the end of the day, Team Orlando led by the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Orange County Convention Center won the bid because of  its community effort, professionalism, dedication to service, partnership mindset–we’re not just a customer—and innovative spirit. Orlando truly made the discernible difference with a customer-service-centric attitude that will play a major role in enhancing the overall experience for everyone involved in the 2012 trade show.

I am also really excited about three other NPE innovations that will come with the change of venue:

  • The switch to early April from the traditional late-June dates will allow far more time for exhibitors to follow up on inquiries and leads generated before summer vacations.
  • Instead of the traditional Monday opening day, NPE2012 will start on Sunday, with educational programs and other special events; the trade show will be open from Monday through Thursday, eliminating the sparsely attended final half-day of previous shows.
  • SPI will address the longstanding wish of attendees and exhibitors that exhibits be grouped by product category.

Over the next several weeks I will blog again to share more information about the industry-wide benefits and opportunities of NPE’s new home — Orlando!

3 Responses to “SPI Leaders Decide On Orlando!”

  1. Orlando – Great!


    I can’t even purchase airfare from Grand Rapids to Orlando during that timeframe for under a small fortune NOR DO I WANT TO FIGHT THE SPRING BREAK CROWDS AT THE SAME TIME AS MY NPE FELLOWS.


  2. Please note: Sunday, April 8, 2012 is Easter Sunday, which means 1-5 of that month is Holy Week, the most sacred days of the Christian calendar. For observers of Lent and Holy Week the new dates in April are problematic and a disregard for religious observances.

    Additionally, April 1-5, 2012 and the week before and after is spring break time. Availability and rates for air travel and hotel accommodations will be inordinately challenged. Not to mention that NPE 2012 will disrupt families’ plans to vacation together at this time.

    With the relocation to Orlando, industry professionals from plastics-heavy states neighboring Chicago will no longer have easy driving access to NPE. After 2012 NPE, please report if an attendance decline is proven from attendees in Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan.

    Was this decision to change venues and dates all about which city made the best presentation or what is in the best interest of the trade show organization, the exhibitors and, very importantly, the attendees?

  3. After carrying out due diligence on possible venues for NPE2012, the NPE Executive Committee determined that moving the show to Orlando would save the plastics industry up to $20-million. SPI’s primary goal is to create the highest possible return on investment for both NPE exhibitors and attendees. We made a systematic and through study, directed by volunteer committee members who are themselves active in managing industry companies. Changing the venue of the industry’s most important business event is not something we could do without being completely convinced that the move is the right one.

    In terms of Easter Good Friday, Passover and spring breaks, the April 1-5 dates for NPE2012 were the only ones available that would meet move-in, move-out and other logistical requirements. Virtually all event participants except exhibit breakdown crews will have left Orlando by Thursday night or Friday morning. SPI has made an arrangement with the Walt Disney Company for package discounts that NPE participants can use
    on the weekend before or after NPE2012. As for the 2015 show, the schedule is for March 22-26, fully two weeks before either holiday.

    Surprisingly, travel expenses for Midwesterners attending the show in Orlando will be 19% less than if the show were in Chicago. This figure includes comparative costs for air travel, driving, parking, cabs, hotels, and meals and reflects adjustments made to take into account the share of Midwestern attendees who are within driving distance of Chicago.

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