NPE ’09: Plastics conference turnout hit by economy

23 June 2009 00:41  [Source: ICIS news]

CHICAGO (ICIS news)--More than 40,000 industry executives are attending the 2009 National Plastics Exhibition (NPE), conference officials said on Monday, but participation has been hurt by the economic downturn.

However, Randy Pearson, chairman of the 2009 NPE, noted that the number of companies exhibiting at the triennial conference has exceeded the level of participation at the 2006 NPE.

While the 40,000-plus number of paid participants this year is less than the 64,000 who attended in 2006, Pearson said he expects some walk-ins and late registrations will boost the attendance figure by Friday’s shutdown for the conference.

But while the 2006 NPE had about 1,650 exhibiting firms, this year’s show boasts a turnout of 1,851 companies with exhibits on the giant trade show in McCormick Place on Chicago’s lakefront.

“The 40,000-plus turnout is a good start,” Pearson said.

“I think we will go above that figure,” he added.  “We’re starting to get a lot of walk-ins.”

An NPE spokesman said that about one-quarter of the 40,000 registered participants are from outside the US, including about 500 executives from China.

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By: Joe Kamalick
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