Plasti/Conn 2000 drew its largest crowd ever this year, an estimated 1,400 visitors. The show, which runs every 18 months, moved from Southington, Conn., to the Connecticut Expo Center in Hartford this year. According to Ted Stoughton, managing director of the Connecticut Plastics Council, the show drew more walk-ins than expected. The show also had 119 exhibitors, surpassing the 94 in 1998.
The board of directors will consider boosting the next Plasti/Conn show to two days.
The show's mission is to raise money to support plastics education programs in the state, and all proceeds will go toward that goal. Final numbers have not yet been tallied.
The state's plastic industry is growing at a rate of more than 6.5 percent a year. From 1991-96, employment jumped from 15,200 to more than 20,000, which is about 9 percent of the state's manufacturing work force.
The show was dedicated to Murray A. Gerber, the founder and first chairman of the Connecticut Plastics Council. Gerber was the founder, owner and chief executive officer of custom molder Prototype & Plastic Mold Co. Inc. of Middletown, Conn., until 1999.
"He has been extremely busy and active in the state of Connecticut. He really is the spokesman for small business and has been for a long time," Stoughton said.