Some Chinese industry leaders are happy with the decision to relocate NPE from Chicago to Orlando, with some pointing out that service in Chicago needed improvement.
But the spring dates for NPE2012, mere weeks before that year's Chinaplas trade show, have raised some concern.
The show location won't have much impact on overseas attendees, said Ma Zhanfeng, general secretary of the Beijing-based China Plastics Processing Industry Association, China's equivalent of the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
While the location is not vital, the show service does matter. Unfortunately, Chinese exhibitors repeatedly encountered bad service in Chicago, Ma said.
CPPIA regularly brings Chinese delegations to NPE.
The trade group also is a co-organizer of the annual Chinaplas show, which alternates between Shanghai and Guangzhou and in 2012 will be in Shanghai.
Chinese firms play a big role at NPE at the 2009 show, they accounted for almost 200 of the 1,851 exhibitors, giving China more exhibitors than any other foreign country.
Wayne Song, CEO of wood-plastic composite equipment and product maker Qinchuan Future Plastic Machinery Co. Ltd., said his company had problems with labor at McCormick Place.
They were not very cooperative, and they made it too difficult to do some things yourself, Song said.
Song has been to the Orlando exhibition grounds and thinks the hotels are cheaper.
He noted that Chinese exhibitors often book less-expensive hotels very far from McCormick Place.
Disney World is a potential tourist draw for international visitors to NPE as well, Song added.
Orlando may be a better location for customers from the southern United States, said Zheng Kai, general secretary of the China Engineering Plastics Industry Association (CEPIA).
But to the Chinese, it does not make much difference whether the show is held in Chicago or Orlando.
Tony Zhang, president of toolmaker and molder DC Mould, said he heard that the climate is good in Orlando, similar to the climate in Shenzhen, China, where his company is based.
Zhang is especially excited about the recreational options: I was told there are many golf courses in and around Orlando.
He said some leisure activities can help international travelers recover energy for the trade show.
One executive with a large Chinese machinery maker said holding the NPE show in Orlando could give Chinese exhibitors a chance to see a new city.
But he added that the health of the U.S. economy is a much bigger factor than the location in determining the success of NPE.
The source, who requested anonymity, said previous NPEs were successful for his company, although it had bad experiences working with trade show contractors in Chicago.
NPE2012 is set to take place April 1-5, while Chinaplas has been historically scheduled in mid- to late April.
So far, Hong Kong's Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., which organizes the steadily growing Chinaplas event, has not expressed any concern about the timing of the shows.
Since Chinaplas and NPE are located at different countries and they target different markets, we believe that the new venue and date of NPE will not pose significant impact on Chinaplas, Adsale project director Ada Leung said in a statement.
For exhibitors and visitors, their selection of shows to participate [in] greatly depends on their business/market and buying strategies respectively, she said.
Leung said the state of the industry as well as the economic environment are crucial factors to a show's scale and success.
With China's quick recovery from the global downturn, it is anticipated that there is huge potential in the development of plastics and rubber industries in China in the upcoming years.
We believe that the scale of Chinaplas will keep growing with the industries, she said.
Meantime, industry insiders stated their concern and suggested some Chinese companies will choose Chinaplas over NPE.
To have NPE in the same month as Chinaplas will have a negative impact on Chinese exhibitors and attendees, Ma said. Chinaplas is a higher priority for the Chinese. Plus, travel costs to the U.S. are high.
Extrusion equipment maker Guangdong Jinming Plastics Equipment Co. Ltd. also believes the change of venue for NPE will be a problem for Chinese exhibitors, spokeswoman Wendy Ma said.
Chinaplas is going well and receiving more and more overseas visitors; we believe that most Chinese exhibitors would prefer to invest in such a cost-effective and globally effective exhibition without stepping out of the country, she said.
CEPIA's Zheng acknowledged that NPE and Chinaplas target different audiences, but he still issued a warning:
Both [shows] are among the top three global fairs in the plastics industry. To schedule them one right after another is not a good decision, he said.
Copyright 2009 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.