I've been waiting to write this in Kickstart for a long time: We're now one year away from the next NPE show.
NPE2024 is scheduled for May 6-10, 2024, in Orlando, Fla.'s Orange County Convention Center.
If you've joined the plastics industry in the past five years, then you might not know what I'm talking about. NPE is North America's largest plastics trade show, and it's organized by the Washington-based Plastics Industry Association. They're usually on a three-year cycle, but the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2021 show. So now we're in the weird position of not having an NPE since May 2018.
A lot of people measure the length of their careers by how many NPEs they've attended. Next year will be No. 11 for me, and the fourth in Orlando.
The first NPE was held in 1946 in New York City. Is there anyone left in the industry who attended the first one? Let me know; that would make a good story!
NPE is pretty important for a lot of reasons, including because it generates a lot of revenue for the Plastics Industry Association. It's a big show for many of the exhibitors, too, because they like to make a splash with new products at NPE.
If you listen to any of our editorial livestreams, then you've probably heard me say — more than once — that I think a lot of the North American plastics industry is behind the rest of the world right now in understanding the importance of climate issues, and my theory is that's because we didn't have an NPE in 2021.
Climate was a huge emphasis at the last two K shows, held in 2019 and 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Even machinery companies were talking about their scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions. I expect that to be a big theme of NPE2024, too.