I was surprised by the conclusion you drew in your Feb. 16, Page 6 Viewpoint, “Industry gets radical with marketing funds,” concerning GE Plastics' decision to forgo participation in this year's K show. You said, “But spending everywhere for a global company like GE Plastics might just be impossible. So it has to make tough decisions.”
I don't buy your argument. As most industry observers know, if GE Plastics can't afford it, who can? One wonders if the explanation lies elsewhere.
Does an exhibit at a show like NPE or K provide a useful forum for any leading material supplier? I think these big trade events need to reinvent themselves for material suppliers, or the exodus will gain momentum.
Material suppliers used to help bankroll the annual Society of Automotive Engineers' exhibit floor, but by the early 1990s they realized their marketing dollars were much better spent elsewhere. They left — quickly.
More recently, several high-profile, global material suppliers (including Dow, Rhodia and others) chose to pass on NPE 2003. They knew they didn't need an exhibit in Chicago to introduce products, gather market intelligence and build new, or reinforce existing, customer relationships. They found a better way.
Perhaps the customers who've complained that the costs of the big exhibits at NPE are reflected in the prices they pay for resin are now being heard.
John H. Caccese Marcom & PR Services
Mission Viejo, Calif.