Costs could defeat McCormick

Tim Hanrahan

Published: September 11, 2009 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Processes, Recycling, Suppliers, Machinery

As in the past, after the NPE plastics industry trade show has packed up and moved on, questions arise as to the value received from the show and McCormick Place and Chicago.

As a person who has attended NPE shows since the 1980s and been responsible for our show booth design and setup for approximately 20 years, I believe I am qualified to comment on some of the conditions and issues within McCormick Place.

The rumor mill

Despite many horror stories that circulate regarding McCormick Place and the trade unions, I believe that most of the stories are possibly urban myths. I have not witnessed any of the rumored problems in the past regarding uncooperative workers, bribes or payoffs. I have found most of the tradespeople to be courteous and professional and, for the most part, qualified for the job.

However, one issue that continues to cause concern is the amount of money required to exhibit in NPE. For those of you who attend the show but are not responsible for signing the time sheets and payment checks for the show, I am sure you have heard that it is expensive yet you probably have never heard much about the actual costs.

The Pepsi incident

Here is one small, but particularly galling example that just about everyone can relate to:

During the NPE2009 show, we ran out of soft drinks and ordered more through the Chicago Restaurant Partners LLC office. We ordered four cases of Pepsi products. I believe that if we traveled to a local grocery store, the total purchase would be around $30. Well, in McCormick Place $30 does not go very far.

The price of four cases of Pepsi products in McCormick Place typifies, for us, the general attitude and prices charged exhibitors.

The total charge for four cases of Pepsi, delivered to our booth, was $345.39. The invoice breaks down to $254 for the four cases of Pepsi, a 21 percent service charge, and a 10.25 percent Illinois state sales tax, a 3 percent Chicago soft drink tax, a tax on the service charge, and a food and beverage tax. Government taxes totaled $38.06, which is more than the legitimate retail price of the soft drinks.

Now, a nice man in a tuxedo delivered the Pepsi, along with a couple of buckets of ice and a few cups. Good service? Sure, but not worth $345.39.

I could go on. A $640 dollar TV stand rental is another good example. But you get the point. Paying a premium for convenience is one thing, but the McCormick prices are ridiculous, and the cumulative effect can add up to enough aggravation to be the tipping point when it comes time to decide on whether to exhibit at the next NPE, or not.

Hanrahan is CEO of Erema North America Inc. in Ipswich, Mass., a supplier of plastics recycling machinery and systems, as well as service, parts and technical support.


Comments

Costs could defeat McCormick

Tim Hanrahan

Published: September 11, 2009 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Deal puts Convergence Packaging under Comar's umbrella

October 24, 2014 2:00 pm ET

Convergence Packaging Holdings LLC, itself a product of mergers, now is joining together with Comar LLC.    More

Image

Akro-Plastic buying German subsidiary from Metabolix

October 24, 2014 3:32 pm ET

Akro-Plastic GmbH, a Niederzissen, Germany-based plastic compounder, has purchased the assets of Metabolix Inc.'s subsidiary in Germany.    More

Image

Automation firms join forces, look to automotive for future growth

October 24, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Hoping to ease the way for automation in some specialized areas of automotive plastics like laser cutting of door panels, a German robot maker and an ...    More

Image

Gerresheimer opens first development center in China

October 24, 2014 1:34 pm ET

Medical molder Gerresheimer AG has launched a development center for medical plastic systems in Dongguan, China.    More

Image

German export sales strong, push for energy savings continues

October 24, 2014 12:34 pm ET

Germany is the engine that drives the European economy — and when it comes to the plastics industry, German machinery is a potent force, an expo...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events