Sumitomo Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH will the first company to choose its exhibit space for the next NPE, which will be held April 1-5, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.
In order, the next four companies will be Farrel Corp., Canon Communications LLC, Sabic Innovative Plastics US LLC, and Illinois Tool Works Inc., and their affiliated companies.
The pre-draw lottery was held May 24 at the Washington headquarters of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., which owns and produces the show.
The next 11 companies to choose their exhibit space will be Eastman Chemical Corp., DuPont Co., Davis-Standard LLC, NFM Welding Engineers Inc., Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc., Graham Engineering Corp., Wittmann Battenfeld Inc., Welex Inc., Milacron LLC, Sterling Co., and Conair Group Inc., and their affiliated companies.
The pre-draw, the first in NPE history, is not a change in the seniority system. But it allows the 64 SPI member companies that have exhibited at NPE at least 15 times to choose their space in advance of the regular space draw. Those companies, in order from 1-64, will pick their space in conversations with officials from SPI between now and the end of August.
After those companies choose their space, SPI will generate a preliminary floor plan that will help other companies with their own space selection.
SPI changed the process for drawing space because the 2012 NPE show will be held in Orlando; Chicago had been home to the show since 1971. With the change in venue, SPI plans to group exhibitors by product category.
We will be using a new venue with a different floor plan, said Gene Sanders, SPI's senior vice president of trade shows. People won't be sure of where to go. This will enable us to develop an effective floor plan and will serve as a guide for other exhibitors.
SPI will have a link on its website this summer where exhibitors and potential exhibitors can view the floor plan and see where companies are exhibiting. The link will be www.npe.org/vr/ shows/NPE2012/start.html.
The drawing for space for other exhibitors that apply early will be Jan. 12-14, 2011 in Orlando. SPI will have tours of the Orange County Convention Center and of outlying areas prior to the draw.
At the draw, companies will get about five minutes to choose from the available spots, pre-determined by SPI based on the amount of space a company wants. There also will be workshops for exhibitors on how to promote and market the show.
The move to Orlando for NPE 2012 marks a dramatic change and is designed to create the highest return on investment for attendees and exhibitors, said Bill Carteaux, SPI president and CEO. The lower costs, simpler work rules and more flexible logistics at the [convention center] will lead to more extensive displays of new technology and machinery at the show.
Sanders said the pre-draw did not alter the seniority system used to select space for the show.
We did not change the sanctity of the draw. It is still done based on seniority, with the same seniority group of companies, Sanders said. But this will give SPI time to talk with these 64 companies and explain to them where the entranceways, shuttles buses and utilities are.
He said the convention center has multiple entrances and more defined long aisles, compared with Chicago's McCormick Place, which has one main entrance and a long hallway to get to all the exhibitor halls.
This layout will work for a better flow and give companies more options to be near entrances, Sanders said. We will also be showing other exhibitors the floor plan ahead of time. And long-time, loyal SPI exhibitors will be able to demonstrate their commitment to the show much earlier.
Sanders said he expects that NPE2012 will have at least 1,800 exhibitors, as it did in 2009.
We don't see any reason [why] it won't be as big, he said. He also expects attendees from foreign countries to bounce back up toward 27-33 percent of show attendees, after dropping to near 20 percent in 2009.
Orlando will help with that because of its proximity to Latin American markets, he said.
Sanders said the lower cost of flying to Orlando, as well as lower and greater housing options will also help drive attendees from foreign companies, as well as companies in the U.S. It is cheaper to fly to Orlando, and there are housing choices that cover a wide variety of options. The options for people to save money are very good, Sanders said.
NPE2012 will again have pavilions for emerging technologies, fluoropolymers, mold making and thermoforming, he said. We are in the process of identifying other technologies which might have a universe of people who might want their own space, he said.
ANTEC 2012, a mold-making conference and a business of plastics conference will be collocated at NPE2012, he added.
Sanders also said SPI wants to build up the design competition, link it with the education portion of the show and have more connections among the competition, the show and the supply chain.
There will be fewer, but more influential educational programs at NPE20102, after the expansion of educational programs from 200 to 1,000 between the 2006 and 2009 shows, he said.
Sanders said exhibitors and SPI also will be able to market the show more effectively because of the lower costs in Orlando and because exhibitors will have a better handle on their costs long before the show.
He said SPI would soon post on the members' portion of its website the material-handling rates and utilities rates for the convention center. They will be substantially less than Chicago, he said.
Knowing those costs far in advance will also be a plus, Sanders said.
Often those costs weren't known until less than two months before the show, Sanders said. Companies will now be able to put dollars aside for promotional costs because they will know their costs ahead of time. It will give exhibitors the time and the money to promote themselves.
Sanders said that extra time is critical in driving NPE attendance, as SPI research indicates invitations from exhibitors are one of the main drivers of attendance at NPE shows.
The move to Orlando is going to benefit the show, the attendees and the exhibitors, he said.
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