Chicago, IL—Your PlasticsToday reporters on the show floor at NPE2009 are hearing almost nothing but positives about the show from the exhibitors. Virtually wiping away exhibitor concerns that the downturn in plastics processing accompanying the global economic downturn would put a big damper on the show attendance, the numbers show that the actual buying power at the show is strong.
As of Wednesday, the show’s third day, 17,587 unique companies from 101 countries were walking the show floor in Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, according to the show producer SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. SPI CEO William Carteaux said, “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.”
PlasticsToday reporters were hearing similar positive feedback from individual exhibitors. Before NPE opened on Monday morning, one long-term exhibitor said without hesitation, “This is probably the best of all the shows we’ve attended."
Matt McCabe, VP sales of Wittmann Battenfeld, said, “We have been extremely satisfied. Booth traffic has been much better than expected. We’re seeing leads comparable to those in 2006.”
Tim O’ Brien, VP of Sabic Innovative Plastics for the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said, “We came to NPE because we view this event as being very important for showing our commitment to the industry and our customers.”