And now, for something completely different

By Don Loepp
Editor

Published: November 20, 2009 6:00 am ET

Some thoughts on the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.’s decision to move the 2012 and 2015 NPE shows to Orlando, Fla.:

Orlando’s attitude — There’s a tendency to focus on the high cost of Chicago and problems companies claim to have dealing with union work rules. But don’t discount the importance of customer service. The

sense is that the Orange County Convention Center has a reputation for friendly service, and that Orlando really wants the show. The inference is that Chicago took NPE for granted.

Many exhibitors feel that McCormick Place unions treated them like patsies, and that even McCormick management acted like exhibitors were there to serve them, not the other way around. I’m sure many complaints about McCormick are exaggerated. But whether it’s perception or reality, the reputation didn’t help Chicago’s bid. The bottom line is, the money Orlando promises to save exhibitors is critical. SPI claims the move will save $20 million. That’s the number we’ll see quoted in the future. Having a successful NPE is essential to the health of SPI.

With a reputation for poor service and high prices, Chicago’s future as a trade show center has some pretty big problems.

Change is necessary — Machinery and materials companies, and their customers, have been through major upheaval. They’ve seen downsizing, departures of key executives and fierce competition from around the world. Their business models have changed.

They feel the business model at McCormick needs to change, too. But change wasn’t going to happen if NPE kept booking the show at McCormick every three years.

More than a few exhibitors I’ve talked to really like Chicago as a location for NPE. It’s a great city, centrally located and near a lot of their customers. They’d like to go back. Maybe if McCormick undergoes some radical changes, we’ll see NPE back in Chicago — or alternating between Chicago and Orlando — by 2018.

Check your calendar — A lot of people are commenting on the dates for the 2012 show, April 1-5. Yes, that is the week before Easter.

The show floor won’t actually be open April 1, Palm Sunday — that will be a day for educational programs and special events. The show will end on a Thursday — SPI says it will eliminate the “sparsely attended final half-day of previous shows.” It also avoids having the show on Good Friday. Reactions to those dates will vary based on religious beliefs. It will be interesting to see if Latin American attendees, who might be interested in the Orlando location, will be turned off by the conflict with Holy Week.

On the other hand, all the dads who attend NPE might appreciate that NPE2012 won’t be too close to Father’s Day.

 Loepp is managing editor of Plastics News and author of “The Plastics Blog.”


Comments

And now, for something completely different

By Don Loepp
Editor

Published: November 20, 2009 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events