See why organizers and attendees of NPE: The Plastics Show have fallen in love with Orlando (Orange County Convention Center pictured).
The NPE: The Plastics Show returned to Orlando for its third consecutive outing, with plans to stay at the Orange County Convention Center through at least 2027. See why organizers and attendees love the massive event’s current home, and why Orlando is the perfect convention city.
Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified or closed. Learn more about healthy business travel and safety information in Orlando, and check with your favorite businesses for their current status.
The Plastics Show Is Bigger and Better Than Ever in Orlando
Held every three years, NPE: The Plastics Show took place at McCormick Place in Chicago until 2009. Growing concerned with skyrocketing costs, event organizers began to consider other locations and realized that Orlando offered a lot of value.
“When we took a look down here, we thought we could save a lot of money on the exhibitors’ side and on the attendees’ side, from the hotels to the center,” says Bill Carteaux, Plastics Industry Association president and CEO.
Once they decided to move the show to Orlando starting in 2012, Carteaux and other organizers were still concerned that the change of location might result in some event shrinkage. Instead, they found the opposite to be true, with approximately 60,000 people attending the first Orlando edition.
“When we came down here, I thought, ‘We’ll never top 1 million square foot again,’” Carteaux recalls. “Well, guess what? We did. We not only broke through 1 million, but we hit a new record overall.”
In addition to the event growing since its move to Orlando, participants find the city to be a better experience, too.
“Coming here, we get the best of all worlds,” says Dan Waldron, regional sales manager for SERAC. “People coming from the Caribbean, people coming from the rest of the U.S., as well as people coming from other countries.”
“We’ve gotten into such a great rhythm with you all here in Orlando,” says Carteaux. “I had guys that I met in the first 20 minutes on the floor who said: ‘Don’t ever move. This is the smoothest setup we’ve ever had.’”
More Reasons for Conventions to Love Orlando
For NPE organizers, it’s the personal touch afforded by Visit Orlando that makes the city stand out compared to past experiences. “When I walked in the door on Thursday here, the sign on the door says, ‘Center of Hospitality,’ and that is what makes the difference,” says Carteaux.
“The whole city — and Visit Orlando is the epitome of that — has really become family to us. They offer us marketing support, [and] they do things with the airport, making sure that our folks feel welcome as soon as they touch down.”
Indeed, Visit Orlando is ready and able to assist with all aspects of putting on a winning show, including everything from site inspections to attendance building. We also provide comprehensive destination expertise, time-saving tools, ideas for unique off-site events, assistance in connecting with local service providers, convention staffing, discounted attractions tickets and much more.
Speaking of tickets, part of what makes Orlando such a great choice for any convention are all the unforgettable things to see, do — and eat — once the day is done.
“I-Drive has expanded so much with great restaurants,” says Carteaux, who adds, “The new [ICON Orlando] and other attractions in this area are very easy and close to get to.”
Located on International Drive, the Orange County Convention Center is just two easy-to-walk miles from ICON Orlando 360, home of the famed observation wheel formerly known as the Orlando Eye. In that stretch, you’ll find more than 75 restaurants and lounges in a beautiful resort setting, as well as dozens of attractions that can provide countless hours of entertainment.