We journalists of PlasticsToday.com sometimes find ourselves hearing opinions that are better called rumors and gossip. A recent example is the negative buzz about certain companies that wouldn’t be exhibiting at NPE2009 or would have nothing in their booths, or that the show was doomed.
The show is going on.
There has also been much talk of the “high cost of NPE"— that the lack of cash money in our crisis economy would keep potential visitors from coming. Would it really? Of course it costs money to attend NPE, or any show, for that matter, but is it the show itself that costs so much? Actually, no.
The shows—and there are many colocated with NPE2009 in McCormick Place from June 22-26—are virtually free, and in terms of value for the money, it’s a walk-off grand slam. There are deals on admission tickets, but the truth is that anyone working in a plastics processing or toolmaking shop should be able to get in free. Show sponsor SPI (Society of the Plastics Industry) this year doubled the number of VIP free admission passes that are given to exhibiting companies. Nearly 400,000 of them were given out. If you’re in this business, odds are good that several of your suppliers are exhibitors. If one hasn’t already given your shop some passes, a phone call or two should be all you need to get in free.
You might be saying that even if NPE itself isn’t costly, the stuff that goes with it is. Well, it depends. If you’re within commuting distance, as are many in the plastics-rich tri-state region around Chicago, the cost is gas, tolls, and parking. You’ll eat lunch anyway. For those who have to travel a good distance and stay in town, there are plane tickets and hotel bills. But there have been decent plane fares and the SPI negotiated with the majority of the convention hotels to reduce their rates. They, too, are economically challenged. Still, you can’t use the word cheap for these very real costs.
What does it cost, though, not to attend NPE? Forecasts call for a contraction of 15% or more in the number of U.S. plastics processors in 2009. There is general agreement that one of the chief factors in whether a processor, or any manufacturer, will survive such a shakeout is innovation—being able to offer something new to clients that helps them rise above their competitors.
Exhibitors at NPE2009 have worked hard on the innovations they bring to Chicago. They too want to be among those going forward. Their innovations can become your innovations, but as the saying goes, you gotta be in it to win it. This month, the game is on in Chicago, and the first step in winning is showing up. Hope to see you there—for all our sakes. —[email protected]