The NPE2015 trade show – North America’s biggest plastics industry event – kicked off in Orlando on March 23 with a fashion show.
The show featured outfits made of recycled and reused plastics and designed by students of the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a design created with 3D printing technology by a SCAD student using bioplastics.
And just before the fashion show, the mood was upbeat among officials at a press breakfast held to help launch this latest edition of the trade show. “NPE2015 is the most successful NPE in the 69-year history of the show,” said William Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI, which founded the event in 1946 and which sponsors the show. “The show is essentially sold out. [North America’s] plastics industry has made a strong comeback, a resurgence that has attracted NPE participants from across the country and around the world.”
NPE2105 runs from March 23 to 27 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. The show will be the largest show in NPE history. According to SPI, the number of exhibitors will match and possibly exceed the record of 2,009 set at NPE2000, and attendance will reach 60,000, well above the total for the successful 2012 show. The amount of exhibit space also exceeds the previous record set at NPE2000 and is expected to total 1,060,000 net square feet.
Even more dramatic growth has taken place in international participation, SPI said. “A record 43% of all exhibitors will come to NPE2015 directly from outside the U.S. – a figure that does not include many companies based in other countries but exhibiting through their U.S. subsidiaries,” SPI said. “International exhibitors at NPE2015 will come from 37 countries, including the largest contingent ever from China and substantial participation from Canada, Italy, Taiwan, Germany, India, Turkey, Switzerland, France, and South Korea.”
As for attendance, SPI projects that international visitors will account for 28% of the total attendance, including a record number from Latin America – approximately 6,500 attendees.
Also, more than 600 exhibiting companies will have machinery at their booths and over 400 will be operating equipment.
“The great size and international makeup of NPE2015 reflects the importance and value of plastics and plastics manufacturing in our world,” said Gene Sanders, SPI senior vice president of trade shows and conferences. “There will be more equipment on the show floor than at any previous NPE, more machinery in actual production, more opportunities to connect with designers and material suppliers, a more extensive conference program, and timely new exhibit features such as NPE3D, the Zero Waste Zone, IDSA’s Design Center, and the Startup Garage.