John Moisson, president at distributor Jamplast Inc.; Steve London, COO at blowmolding machine manufacturer Bekum America Corp.; Takanori Taresawa, president of Nissei America Inc.: these and other exhibitors across the entire industry spectrum agreed that the investment in NPE was a wise one. Expectations going into the show were low, and the last day of the event was sparsely attended, but the show’s organizer, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, processors, and others representing nearly 19,000 companies attended NPE2009 during the past week, and as we’ve reported so far and will do in later issues, some deals were concluded at the show floor, including a number of multimillion dollar ones for film extrusion lines.
The preliminary total of visitor registrations by the close of the show on June 26 was 44,000. While this was about 30% less than the corresponding number of attendees for NPE2006, the number of companies represented by registrants was down only 17%, according to William Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI. “With very difficult economic times and travel reductions caused by concerns about the H1N1 pandemic, it came as no surprise that attendee delegations were smaller than in 2006, but those company representatives that did come to NPE2009 were typically significant players with real purchasing power,” he said in a statement released by SPI.
It remains to be seen whether the event truly will serve as a springboard to the industry’s recovery, or whether positive discussions in Chicago will be washed away by budgetary restrictions at processors, but at least for one week many of the industry’s top players could enjoy the feeling that exhibiting at the event would help move their companies toward a more positive future.