A funny thing happened on the way to Orlando airport. At 6:30 am today, on the day after the NPE2012 show wrapped up at the Orange County Convention Center, Plastics News' Robert Grace piled into a metered taxi at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Here's his first-hand report: The first thing the driver said to me was how happy he was that our show, meaning NPE, had taken place here this week. "This city really needed it." He said it was the biggest show ever at the OCCC, and that he'd never seen anything like it. He met a lot of nice people this week, he continued. I started to explain how that this was the first time for NPE in Orlando, and that previously it had been held ... "in Chicago", he said, finishing my sentence. He knew the back story about the NPE show! Go figure. My driver was a Haitian-born resident of Orlando for the past 20 years. About a year ago a lack of work caused him to be laid off from his construction job, where he had helped to build some of the longest bridges in Florida and Mississippi. He had been driving a cab for only 10 months, but he likes it. He meets interesting people. I shared with him some of the background about why the show moved from McCormick Place, saying how many exhibitors were really fed up with the strict union rules that made logistics expensive and frustrating. He was incredulous, and said "that won't happen here." He thanked me for being here, flashing a gold-toothed smile, and said that NPE had "helped put food on the table for a lot of families." I gave him a healthy tip and he appreciatively said he was really looking forward to NPE returning to his home town in three years. Unbelievable. But it was symbolic of the sort of warm reception that many show attendees experienced throughout the week at NPE. It's nice to feel wanted, and to be respected. And that bodes well for all of us in 2015.
Orlando feels the love for NPE
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