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NPE2024: The Plastics Show Returns to Orlando After Six-Year Hiatus

This is the logo for NPE 2024: The Plastics Show

ORLANDO — NPE2024: The Plastics Show is making its return in 2024 after a six-year hiatus caused by the pandemic and its triennial show cycle. Taking place May 6-10 in Orlando, NPE2024 expects approximately 55,000-plus total registrants as the show takes over the entire 1.2 million square feet of the Orange County Convention Center’s exhibit space.

The exhibit hall sold out 16 months in advance of the show, and more than 700 companies are on the waiting list to participate, signaling that NPE2024 is set for success. With more than 45 bioplastics-related exhibitors on the show floor, NPE2024 is expected to be the largest gathering of bioplastics companies in the Americas.

When looking at attendee registrations, the show has already exceeded the total number of countries represented at the show compared to its last edition in 2018.

“We didn’t know what to expect after a six-year hiatus between shows,” said Glenn Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of the Plastics Industry Association, which owns NPE. “We decided early in the planning phase that the goals for NPE2024 would be about reestablishing the baseline for our performance metrics and identifying new areas for growth.

“This is the start of an exciting chapter for NPE. The plastics industry has evolved significantly in the past six years along with people’s expectations of trade shows overall. We embraced this dynamic and saw it as a chance to truly rethink the purpose of NPE. Our theme for this year — Made For You — represents this new way of thinking and has become a signal of our commitment to building a show that is more personal, diverse and modern so that it can continue to meet the needs of our attendees and exhibitors.”

Reaching a New Generation

NPE2024 promises to be unlike any prior edition of the show through its new content, exhibits and technologies. Programming is not focused just on meeting the industry’s needs of today but the future needs of it as well. With many of those who attended NPE2018 having left the industry or aged out, the team knew it was imperative to reach a younger audience.

“Networking opportunities like the Future Leaders in Plastics’ are made for the future leaders and professional growth,” Anderson said. “We anticipate that 25% of all attendees will be under the age of 40, and more than 50% of all attendees will be first timers. After years of planning, we look forward to seeing the entire plastics ecosystem in one place, along with professionals who make up the future of the plastics industry.”

Marketing Insights and New Sponsorship Offerings

The event’s theme of “Made For You,” was the catalyst in building excitement among the plastics industry for the return of the show when it comes to marketing.

“Much like plastic, which is a malleable and customizable substance, the NPE2024 experience has been reimagined and personalized for all attendees,” Anderson said.

NPE uses a large mix of media, channels and strategies for its marketing efforts to attendees. For the 2024 show, the team focused more on detailed messaging and audience segmentation than ever before, recognizing the advantage of proving the unique value proposition of the show and making its offerings feel relevant to a variety of interests.

While NPE remains a trade show where business gets done, there has been an evolution of how the show comes together, which includes how sponsors are integrated into the experience.

“NPE2024 will feature an option to use scan-and-go kiosks at registration. The kiosks are not only going to help save time when attendees are checking in, the kiosks are also new opportunities for sponsorship,” Anderson said. “Additionally, we have new, sponsored stages that are dispersed throughout the exhibit hall. The stages allow sponsors to showcase their thought leadership while also giving attendees more reasons to stay on the show floor for longer than they had in the past.”

New Show Features

“When planning NPE2024, we looked at industry trends and consulted with our strong exhibitor community, while also taking time to study event trends,” Anderson said. “There was a clear need to evolve NPE to be more than a manufacturing show. It is, without a doubt, still the largest plastics trade show in the Americas. However, the strategic insight we gleaned was the event felt one-dimensional. So, the challenging part was finding the right path forward and trying to make sure we kept the best of what makes NPE great, while also giving ourselves the permission to breathe new life into it. This year, to that end, we’ve been intentional about enhancing the attendee experience, integrating more relevant educational content without disrupting the show floor and testing new formats for networking and connection.”

This year’s show will feature two keynote speakers for the first time, as well as the first-ever Women in Plastics Breakfast.

“We love data because it helps remove some of the subjectivity that comes with making decisions while building a massive trade show like NPE,” Anderson said. “To that end, we dug into our own registration data, reviewed secondary research from across the industry as well as other large trade shows, and conducted in-depth interviews with dozens of plastics industry leaders. As a result, we were able to identify the most relevant topics for programming and ensure that we covered all major areas of the industry.”

Attendees can also plan their experience by leveraging the event’s mobile app and accessing their “myNPE Planner,” which allows the user to search exhibitors, sessions and networking events, as well as use an interactive floor plan to locate booths and receive real-time notifications from exhibitors and show organizers. The app will also have direct access to logistics information for attendees, such as shuttle schedules, show information and FAQs.

Focusing on Sustainability

“Sustainability is a commitment incorporated into every detail of NPE2024,” Anderson said. “This year, exhibitors will have the chance to recycle and donate leftover materials before heading home, reducing their carbon footprint. Roughly 10,500 nsf will be dedicated to live recycling and sustainability demos on and off the show floor. Additionally, the show offers a Recycling & Sustainability Zone for attendees to explore the products and services creating a greener plastics economy and a Sustainability Stage with 25-plus education sessions.”

The goal for NPE2024 is to divert 100% of the plastic waste generated during the event from landfills by utilizing the onsite outdoor NPE recycling center at the OCCC. Participants will be able to immerse themselves in the world of plastic manufacturing and witness the show’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

“The industry is beyond excited [for the return of NPE]. It has been so long since this event took place, and we are thrilled to see the enthusiasm ahead of the show,” Anderson said. “Every sector of the global plastics industry will be represented at NPE, allowing attendees to network, reinforce their supply chain and discover revolutionary technology to advance the future of plastics.”

Find out more about NPE2024 here.

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