Every three years around this time, my professional life revolves around NPE. North America's largest plastics trade show will welcome more than 65,000 visitors to Orlando, Fla., in just two months.
We've already started gathering news and features for our five pre-show issues in April, and we're planning coverage for our daily reports that will be reported and written on-site at the show.
There's a lot of planning involved for us to have a successful show, and I know that's true for many exhibitors, too. NPE is an event where companies want to make a big splash with new products, technology and business news. It's an international show, and the eyes of the global plastics industry will be focused on the Orange County Convention Center from May 7-11.
It doesn't seem like an exaggeration to say everyone will be there. I can't count the number of times I've bumped into people I know at NPE, and I've attended every show since 1991. (And my colleagues know I've spent a lot of time at those nine shows in a newsroom, far off the beaten path from the show floor. Imagine how many more people I'd see if I spent the entire day walking the aisles!)
Before the hustle and bustle of the show, and our deadlines, start, this seems like a good time for me to revisit a comment I made about NPE way back in 2009. I think I need to — wait for it — admit I was wrong.