The National Plastics Expo, known by most simply as NPE, surprised Chicago officials when it announced it was pulling the show from its longtime McCormick Place venue and moving to Orlando. The triennial international plastics exposition will take place April 1 through 5, 2012, at the Orange County Convention Center.

The show’s owner, the Society of the Plastics Industry, settled on Orlando to realize big reductions in the chief expenses incurred by exhibitors and attendees. According to SPI, the reductions could save the two groups an average of: 48 percent on utilities for booths; 19 percent on on-site hauling (drayage) and rigging services for exhibitors; 23 percent on lodging and 11 percent on travel. The savings on travel from the U.S. Midwest - a key plastics manufacturing region, with Chicago at its heart - would be even greater, at 19 percent.

SPI noted three other NPE changes:
  • The switch to early April - from the traditional late-June dates - will allow more time for exhibitors to follow up on inquiries and leads generated before summer vacations.
  • Instead of the traditional Monday opening day, NPE 2012 will start on Sunday with educational programs and other special events. The trade show will be open from Monday through Thursday, eliminating the sparsely attended final half-day of previous shows.
  • NPE exhibits will be grouped by product category, meeting a longstanding wish of attendees and exhibitors.
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