Moving NPE to Orlando, Fla., offers the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. the opportunity to attract new companies to the show, according to Gary Sain, president and CEO of the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
We are a global attraction well-positioned and well-recognized around the world, Sain said. I think Orlando will attract new international attendees and exhibitors to NPE. Orlando provides [SPI] with a great opportunity to be creative and make NPE 2012 the greatest NPE ever.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley issued a statement saying SPI's decision to pull NPE from the city is a very serious loss and called on unions and others working at McCormick Place to change fee structures and work rules so Chicago can compete better for major shows.
In Orlando, Sain said, We have got a lot of ideas on how to market the show and will be putting together a brand summit with SPI where we will sit down and talk about the strategy, what the objectives are and how we want to position the marketing of the show.
SPI said the switch will save exhibitors $10 million in travel and exhibiting costs, which was key to the decision.
Orlando offers them a great opportunity to be cost-effective and innovative, Sain said. The cost structure is different. There is no union labor at the convention center. But he added that cost savings is just part of the picture.
I think SPI saw the value of that overall package, he said. Orlando gives them the ability to draw new attention to a destination that also offers leisure activities. They can say, 'Come to Orlando for serious business, but come before the show or stay after the show for leisure.'
Sain also credited Orlando's infrastructure and service for helping the city snare the show, which has been held in Chicago since 1971.
Our whole infrastructure was built to serve the hospitality and meeting and convention business.
Other officials of Chicago and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which operates both McCormick Place and the Navy Pier, did not respond to requests for comment.
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