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NPE2018 Space Draw: The NFL Draft of Booth Sales

See how one show adds both excitement and builds anticipation at their triennial space draw event.

It’s one of the coolest events we take part in. Could be it’s the sports fan in me or maybe it’s the trade show geek, but the anticipation that fills the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando is palpable when the NPE Space Draw takes place.

A perennial resident on the top 10 tradeshow list, NPE is the premier plastics show in the US and the largest plastics tradeshow and conference globally. It’s hosted every three years by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), and brings together professionals from every corner of the plastics supply chain. The booth selection process for this preeminent trade show is a one-of-a-kind experience.

The NPE2018 space draw took place over three days last month, and MYS was lucky enough to help facilitate the space selection process for the third time. This event is about more than just choosing a booth as it brings together exhibitors, show managers, and various NPE service providers to assign space on the exhibit floor, review sponsorship options, provide input for the upcoming show, network with peers and much, much more.

Exhibitors start by filing into a large conference room where selection takes place in priority order. As an exhibiting company’s number gets close to being called, they can preview the available spaces and already assigned exhibitors on computers located near the front of the room.

From there, you’re called onto a stage – yes, I said stage – to select booth space in what can only be compared to the NFL draft.

Draped above the stage are two gigantic projector screens showing constantly-refreshing floor plans of the Orange County Convention Center to the rest of the room. Audible exhales as prospective booths go untouched fill the area every few minutes like a professional sports team when their favorite collegiate prospect falls in the draft.

Once you’ve locked in your space, it’s time to head to the contract phase where you sign your digital contract and receive your confirmation.

While the sales process itself might not differ from what other events do, having the space draw separate from the large trade show provides the Plastics Industry Association with time to digest the previous event, collect feedback, and fine-tune potential improvements. It also affords exhibitors the same opportunity.

And the simple act of walking across a large stage in front of a crowded conference room adds an enthusiasm that’s hard to replicate. NPE2018: The Plastics Show takes place next May 7-11 in Orlando, FL and will bring together over 65,000 industry professionals under one roof to discover the latest technologies, innovations and products in plastics.

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