I read with interest your article on the series of seminars held in the past year by GE Plastics [“GE Plastics finds seminars NPE alternative,” Oct. 30, Page 27]. The article emphasized that the company views this program as an alternative to exhibiting at NPE. At SPI we view it as a smart, enterprising strategy that complements NPE — one simply does not replace the other.
Instead, this multifaceted marketing strategy provides GE Plastics with a recruitment venue to reach out to NPE's 64,000 registrants representing prospective customers as well as a retention venue to cater to its existing customer base.
NPE 2006 provided 1,840 companies with sales and marketing payoffs in a one-week window that would not be achievable with a seminar series. Likewise, GE Plastics' seminar series provided them with a focused venue with client retention payoffs not possible in a trade show environment.
In order to communicate directly with roughly 3,750 people in the course of one year (an estimate calculated from figures provided in the article), GE Plastics staged 22 events across the country. Few companies have the time and staff for such an ambitious effort.
That's why NPE 2006 was widely hailed as a success.
Vice president of trade shows
Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.