Editor's note: This letter was addressed to Norman C. Zintz at American Extrusion Services Inc. in Dayton, Ohio, who wrote the Jan. 14, Page 6 Mailbag “NPE floor plan leaves small firms on outskirts.”
On behalf of the NPE 2003 Executive Committee and the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., sponsor of NPE, I'd like to assure you that the concerns you expressed regarding the NPE 2003 floor plans were taken into consideration by the NPE Committee. As show director for NPE 1997, 2000, and 2003, I make recommendations to the committee on the show floor plan based on the long history of the NPE drawing for exhibit space, the previous show's final layout, and feedback from exhibitors and attendees.
Regarding your statement that small firms have been relegated to the “outskirts,” the reality is, with the exception of the south building, smaller booths are located only one aisle off the center aisles of all other levels of McCormick Place. The feedback received from small exhibitors that were located on or close to center aisles next to large blocks of space during NPE 2000 was negative. They were “boxed in” by larger blocks of space and believed that attendees were not making the effort to find them among the larger booths.
Another plus of the NPE 2003 plans is that in addition to the excellent locations of these exhibit spaces, the aisles where they have been placed are “no cross” aisles. That means that no large blocks of space can be combined to “box in” these NPE 2003 exhibitors.
NPE exhibit space is assigned based on the number of NPEs a company has exhibited in and company membership in SPI. Based on a review of the NPE 2000 drawing for exhibit space records, more than a third of the total square footage occupied at NPE 2000 was assigned to the first 100 highest-priority exhibitors. By “high priority,” I mean those companies that have supported NPE and SPI the longest. Ninety-six percent of this group selected 400 square feet or more of exhibit space and the NPE 2003 floor plans reflect those requirements.
SPI and the NPE 2003 Committee value your feedback and want to address your concerns. It is feedback from our exhibitors and attendees that helps to ensure the continued success of NPE.
Barbara J. Voss