The seventh edition of Expo Plasticos Monterrey, the industry's only fully plastics-dedicated show in Mexico this year, attracted 3,250 visitors over three days 2,250 fewer than the last time it was held, in 2007.
But, given the gloom and doom in the air [globally], it's been good, said George Fletcher, business development director for the show's organizer, Giprex Mexico SA de CV.
The visitors are very satisfied with the quality of attendee, added Andrea Ferrando, Giprex marketing director, in the same exchange of impressions about the event, which is held every other year.
Some 135 companies exhibited at the show, down from 160 firms two years ago, Giprex founder and Managing Director Samuel Ordaz said in a separate interview.
We were planning to have between 160 and 180. But we had a lot of cancellations and reductions [in the size of stands] in the three or four months leading up to the show because of the global financial crisis.
But Ordaz said one positive aspect of the 60,000-square-foot show, held Feb. 3-5, is that 50 participating firms were newcomers.
That surprised us, he said, adding that about 70 percent of the exhibitors make machinery and other equipment. We had few resins and raw materials companies.
Ordaz, a 37-year-old native of Monterrey, founded Giprex in 1998 at the suggestion of local plastics industry friends who were disinterested in participating in the large Plastimagen show in Mexico City, 600 miles to the south.
We know Plastimagen is the international show in Mexico. But a lot of people and companies in northern Mexico would not go down to Mexico City to visit it.
A lot of people prefer this show because Monterrey is safer. This is the seventh time we've held the show and we have the necessary experience.
At one stage, Ordaz was president of a now-defunct plastics industry association in Monterrey.
In 2007, he formed a 50-50 partnership with Fletcher and Ferrando, who run Giprex's U.S. officer from Boca Raton, Fla.
Fletcher has owned four businesses in the past 25 years and, prior to joining Giprex, had his own wholesale company that distributed security technology.
Ferrando was running a trade association previously and organized exhibitions for seven years.
Giprex, which employs 17, runs several other shows, including a large security exhibition in Mexico City. Ordaz said he decided to start Expo Plasticos Monterrey after the directors of Plastimagen turned down the idea of a plastics show in northern Mexico, which has about 700 plastics companies out of about 4,000 across the whole of Mexico.
E.J. Krause & Associates Inc., an exhibition and conference organizer in Bethesda, Md., bought Plastimagen and two other shows from Mexico City-based Oprex SA de CV in 2007 for $5 million.