Updated: PLASTICS cancels in-person NPE2021

Jan. 5, 2021
In a statement, PLASTICS said it determined that it is not possible to hold the event safely at the time and location originally planned.

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has canceled the in-person components of NPE2021, due to the health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event had been scheduled for May 17-21 in Orlando, Fla.

Exhibitors and attendees had begun to voice concerns about the safety of attending such a large event. Auxiliary equipment manufacturer Novatec was the first planned exhibitor to announce publicly it would not attend NPE2021. Novatec President and CEO Conrad Bessemer said safety concerns for staff and attendees, the pace of vaccinations and the ventilation system of the venue all weighed in the decision.

In an email to members Jan. 5, PLASTICS said that after consulting with stakeholders, including PLASTICS’ board, the NPE executive committee, exhibitors and medical experts, “it has been determined that it is not possible to hold the planned event and also provide a safe environment at that time and location, and therefore we must cancel the in-person show.”

A virtual component to the show had been announced previously.

Prior to PLASTICS’ announcement, other exhibitors expressed their concerns about NPE2021. “The show is very international, and I don’t see people from Europe flying over and being quarantined for 14 days,” said Jochen Naujokat, president of Delta T Systems, a Richfield, Wis., maker of temperature-control products.

Others expressed concern about the timing of the show. “I do think a show in 2021 might be a really good idea if everything is true what they say about the economy coming back … but maybe not in May. September would be awesome,” said Monika Gneuss, VP of Gneuss Inc., Matthews, N.C. 

The PLASTICS email said, “By bringing companies at the forefront of plastics manufacturing together in other ways, PLASTICS will continue to provide opportunities for the industry to unite to solve today’s needs and reimagine how to meet tomorrow’s challenges.”

PLASTICS also praised the plastics industry’s response to the demands posed by the pandemic, and the innovations that have helped to provide healthcare workers and first responders with necessary medical and protective equipment.

Read the statement on the NPE website.