With early exhibitor-registration numbers in, this NPE looks like it could match 2000’s record-setting show. Although the Society of the Plastics Industry, the organizer, estimates that this show will occupy slightly less space than NPE 2000, exhibitor numbers have not flagged. Exhibitor registration at press time slightly beat registration for the same period before the 2000 show, making organizers optimistic. “NPE 2003 promises to be a bang-up show,” says SPI trade show vp. Jordan Morgenstern.
NPE 2000 was the largest exhibition to date; 90,142 registered participants were involved and 2014 companies exhibited in 1,142,900 ft2 of exhibit space. “NPE 2000...was by far the greatest NPE up to that point, setting records for attendance, number of exhibitors, and amount of exhibit space,” Morgenstern says. “We fully expect this year’s totals to be similar.”
Following the September 2001 terror attacks, trade-show numbers across all industries dropped by 10 to 20%, say organizers, who add that NPE should take much less of a hit. At press time, 1539 exhibitors have signed on, compared to 1510 exhibitors for NPE 2000 at this time three years ago. Organizers note that slightly less floor space has been taken than in 2000, largely due to smaller booths planned by some previously more expansive exhibitors. Show space consumed is currently down 8% compared to 2000, but organizers estimate that NPE 2003 will occupy 4 to 6% less space than NPE 2000.
“Although some U.S-based companies have taken less space than they did last time, the fall-off has been offset in part by greater investment in space by exhibitors from outside the U.S.,” says Morgenstern. In 2000, 486 overseas companies exhibited, taking 162,250 ft2 of space. As of press time, 348 firms from abroad have registered to exhibit, but will occupy 168,515 ft2 of space. International firms are scheduled to have an even larger presence than at NPE 2000.
Furthermore, to date 12 international pavilions have been organized, compared to six at the 2000 show. Organizers estimate that the 12 pavilions established so far will encompass 75 to 125 exhibitors.
Last fall, the SPI commissioned a survey of 550 companies planning to attend and found that three-fourths of respondents intended to premier products or technologies at the show — totaling more than 2000 equipment, material, software, and service introductions. Respondents pointed to 306 series of primary machinery, 249 product and service lines related to moldmaking, 313 ranges of auxiliary equipment, 125 brands of additives and reinforcements, and 154 proprietary families of resins and compounds.
“In addition to the general-purpose raw materials and equipment employed in every end-use market, there will be hundreds of specialized technologies tailored for applications as specific as blood bags, compact discs, barrier packaging, car instrument panels, irrigation pipe, fiber-optic cable, and a host of others,” says H. Gunther Hoyt, NPE 2003 chairman.