The Plastics Industry Association has announced dates for its 2027, 2030 and 2033 NPE shows.
And while the location isn't a surprise, officials say they did talk with officials in Chicago and Las Vegas before making the decision to stay in Orlando, Fla.
In 2020, the association team was asked by its membership to review options for the 2030 and 2033 shows, according to Chief Operating Officer Glenn Anderson. The 2024 and 2027 shows were already under contract with the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
"So we reached out to three venues that had the ability to host a show the magnitude of NPE," including size, floor loading and electrical power requirements, Anderson said in a telephone interview with Plastics News. Those three venues are the OCCC in Orlando, the Las Vegas Convention Center, and Chicago's McCormick Place.
McCormick Place was home to NPE for 14 straight shows, but that string ended in 2009. The association moved the 2012 event to Orlando because of exhibitor complaints about high costs and rigid union work rules in Chicago.
Anderson said cost is still a hurdle for Chicago.
"They were more expensive, appreciably more expensive," Anderson said. For Las Vegas, the problem was that NPE takes two weeks to set up and another week to break down.
"Las Vegas didn't seem very interested, to be quite honest with you, because they didn't want to lose three weeks of hotel room revenue," he said. Staying in Orlando ended up being the best option.
"Their hospitality … [is] head and shoulders above any other venue that we worked with, and they want us to be there, and that is a key difference," Anderson said. And Orlando was "very competitive" on cost, including the lease, utilities, drayage and other expenses for exhibitors.
A decade ago the association did essentially the same exercise. It looked at whether future NPE shows should alternate between Chicago and Orlando. At the time, the association held in-depth discussions with Chicago officials but couldn't reach an agreement.
That decision locked NPE into being in Orlando through 2024. Now the cycle has been extended to 2033. In 2024, NPE will be held from May 6-10. The dates for the upcoming shows are:
• NPE2027: May 3-7, 2027.
• NPE2030: May 6-10, 2030.
• NPE2033: May 2-6, 2033.
The 2024 show is sold out with more than 2,000 exhibitors and the association expects more than 55,000 attendees.
This will be the first NPE since 2018. The show is usually held every three years, but the 2021 event was canceled because of the pandemic.
Anderson said Orlando has been "a phenomenal partner," and the location is convenient for international visitors, especially those from Latin America. He added that NPE is the only show hosted by the Orange County Convention Center that uses the entire venue.