NPE2009 trade show sees strong industry interest, buying power despite fewer registrations

CHICAGO , June 24, 2009 (press release) – The key indicators that underscore the continued importance and relevancy of the plastics industry’s triennial trade show to the global plastics marketplace are the 17,857 unique companies from 101 countries walking the floor at NPE2009, reports show producer SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association.

“The number of companies and global markets represented at this year’s trade show represents a substantial share of total industry buying power,” says SPI President and CEO William Carteaux “While the mass registration of 42,000 thus far in the show is about 30% smaller than in 2006, the number of companies represented is only 17% smaller. This confirms what we have been hearing from exhibitors on the show floor—that attendees are serious buyers getting right down to business on the trade show floor.”

Unprecedented conditions account for the lower registration count for this show, according to Gene Sanders, SPI’s senior vice president of trade shows. “With very difficult economic times and travel reductions due to the H1N1 pandemic, buyers and sellers alike are sending smaller teams to work industry trade shows this year, and NPE is no exception,” says Sanders. “At the start of day three, we see a greater number of exhibiting companies represented on a slightly smaller show floor—requiring smaller exhibitor teams to work the show. Likewise, attendee delegations are smaller at NPE2009 and limited to the significant players with purchasing power making all booth visitors viable buyers.”

First-time exhibitor Canon Precision Mold Making—affiliated with the Canon of cameras and printers—came to NPE2009 to mark the company’s entry into the world market with a new plant in Virginia. “It’s been great,” says senior director of business development Brian Strangways. “The contacts we’ve made have been better than expected.”

Similarly enthusiastic is Americhem, whose business director Chris Piazza notes, “We’ve seen a steady flow of people with a lot of inquiries. We came to the show with many innovative products, and that has drawn visitors to our booth. They come asking, ‘What new things do you have that can help us to differentiate ourselves.’”

Matt McCabe, vice president of sales for Wittman-Battenfeld, says, “We have been extremely satisfied. Booth traffic has been much better than expected. We’re seeing leads comparable to those in 2006.”

One of the industry’s best-known resin product lines, back at NPE after being absent in 2006, also has attracted many visitors, according to Tim O’Brien, Sabic Innovative Plastics’ vice president for the Americas, Europe, and the Mideast and Africa. “We came to NPE because we view this event as being very important for showing our commitment to the industry and our customers.”

Bioplastics are also a big draw, according to Dan Gilliland, business development director for Mirel: “We’ve had very high traffic and extremely high quality.”

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