Dear NPE2021 Exhibitors, Attendees, Partners, and Friends,
NPE2021 is scheduled to be held as a live, in-person event, May 17–21, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida. As we continue to work our way through the pandemic, we are all hoping for a better—and healthier—tomorrow for our family, friends, colleagues, and industry.
The plastics industry is eager to get back to business, and from the solid NPE2021 show floor which is 91% sold out and new exhibitors requesting space on an on-going basis, all indications are that people are looking to NPE® as the platform that will provide a vibrant marketplace for the end-to-end plastics supply chain to do business. Based on the dynamic, rapidly changing environment, we feel there is sufficient time for significant progress to be made, allowing us to stage an especially successful and necessary NPE.
Over the past several months, we have been evaluating options for NPE, looking at ways to continue to provide a venue for our buyers and sellers to convene, exchange information and ideas, evaluate products and services, and conduct business. One of the options we explored was the postponement of our show, however, with a show the size and complexity of NPE, and the lack of availability of venues with the size and span of dates our show requires, rescheduling NPE is not a viable option.
We also want to address the question of what happens if the show is cancelled due to COVID-19. Should Florida decide not to allow events of our size to take place, and we are therefore unable to hold NPE2021, our intention is to do right by our exhibiting companies—exactly what that might look like will depend on our ability to collect on our insurance claim, should we be unable to hold the live event.
We recognize that people are asking for a go/no-go date for NPE2021, however, at this time, it is not possible to give one, as our decision will be based on a number of factors, many of which—like the re-opening phase of the State of Florida will be in when the date of our show nears—are out of our control.
With our attention, therefore, focused on delivering a successful live event, we have launched a comprehensive marketing and communications campaign through which we will be communicating to attendees not only the benefits of making NPE the platform where the plastics industry can begin to return to business, but also the health and safety measures we will be implementing to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Recognizing that there may be people who will be unable to travel to NPE2021, we have also recently announced that NPE2021 will be offered as a hybrid event, with the live show going forward as planned, complemented by a digital component. Our priority, however, remains the physical show and driving attendance to it.
The health and welfare of all NPE participants is, of course, our top priority. We have been closely monitoring the situation, including all guidance from governmental health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as information from the State of Florida and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), and will take into consideration all current health guidelines necessary to create a safe and healthy environment for our show.
While there are currently no mandates to change exhibit booth layouts of floor plans, based on our review of a number of live event industry guidance documents, NPE Show Management has released a preliminary guidelines document, highly recommending a number of protocols exhibitors should consider following to promote physical distancing and increased safety for attendees and exhibitors. As we are seven months out from the show, we anticipate that these guidelines will be updated as the situation evolves and new information becomes available.
NPE Show Management will share updates as things change. We encourage our NPE community to visit the COVID-19 Resources section of our site periodically, as well as to opt-in/whitelist our domain to ensure you receive our communications. And, as always, please reach out to the NPE team at covid-19@NPE.org if you have questions.
Please stay healthy and safe, and we look forward to seeing you in May at a strong and successful NPE2021.
NPE Show Management
Produced by Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS)