Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NPE 2024 Show Strategy:
Having a SMART Experience

As the NPE2024 trade show in Orlando looms on the horizon, we are busy making travel plans, reviewing exhibitor lists and scheduling meetings.   The plastics industry is abuzz with anticipation. This event is not just a showcase of the latest innovations; it’s a playground for strategic networking, learning, and personal endurance. We wanted to share a guide on navigating NPE2024 with an eye on both your current business imperatives and the future landscape, without sidelining your health and comfort.


SMART Wardrobe & Gear: The Comfortable Visionary

Dress for comfort, but also for efficiency. Equip yourself with a lightweight bag (or lose the bag and carry a phone and water bottle.  There are plenty of bags to be found throughout the show, and most companies are not using printed literature in the digital age.  Coming prepared with a QR code with your contact information that is easily accessible, can make sharing your information easy and seamless.  Also, using a “notes” program on your phone that can dictate with verbal text, is a game changer.

We always talk about wearing comfortable shoes, but the receipt on the purchase of these shoes should probably not be dated in 2024 for the best result.  Your attire should whisper, “I’m here for today’s business and tomorrow’s opportunities” but your shoes and back should not be screaming at you.  Sit often and frequently.

man-holding-his-right feet-Shoeless

Hydration & Nutrition: The Foundation of Foresight

Staying hydrated and well-nourished is not just about sustaining energy; it’s about ensuring you’re at your cognitive best to absorb current trends and predict future shifts. Think of your water bottle and healthy snacks as the fuel for your strategic engine.  You may want to forget the heavy lunches and focus on more energy-based foods.  Find a quiet corner to recharge mentally and physically.  Schedule breaks for some fresh air or a peaceful cup of coffee.

Your ability to focus on the present and future is directly tied to your well-being. Attend to your body’s needs as meticulously as you would your business, ensuring your physical and mental stamina endures beyond the trade show.

For those of you that need to take a break, we invite you to visit the Conair booth W2113 where we will be serving coffee in the morning, snacks throughout the day and happy hour at the end of every day.    We welcome you to take a break.

Tailored Agenda: Marrying the Present with the Future

Craft your schedule with a dual lens: focus on sessions and booths that align with your immediate business needs and those that offer a glimpse into the future of plastics. Balance is key; allocate your time to address both current challenges and emerging trends.  Understanding that meetings are difficult to keep during a show, make sure that you are taking the time to meet with the folks that you don’t have daily access to and save the general meetings for when you return home and can meet with your local technical and support teams.

Smart Networking: The Merging of Now and Next

As you navigate the networking landscape, engage with an intention that serves both your current objectives and your appetite for future opportunities. Query peers not just about their current projects but also about their predictions for the plastics industry.  Ask all those that you talk to, suppliers, customers, and friends alike, “what is the best thing you have seen?”.  This question is a game changer with new and emerging technology.  You will not be able to take it all in or for that matter, remember everything you want to.  This is where your notes app on the phone comes in handy.

Dynamic Exploration: A Step into the Future

Utilize the physical vastness of the event as a metaphor for exploration beyond your current scope. Each booth can be a step towards understanding where your business stands today and where the industry is headed.  When you approach a booth for a potential new business partner, ask the question, “what do I need to know about your company for future exploration?” or “what are the 3 most important things I should see while I am here?”. Be prepared to articulate your pain points and needs for the best solution exploration.


Reflective Downtime: Synthesizing Today for Tomorrow

We all love to connect with friends and kick up our heels during a show but often kicking your feet up for a break, will give you the best overall show experience.  Use your breaks not just for physical rest but for reflective planning. Consider how the insights gained can impact your business today and shape its trajectory for the future.  Find a place for a quiet early dinner, or consider a night of room service.

In gearing up for NPE2024, let your strategy be as multifaceted as the event itself—catering to your immediate business needs while embracing the future of the plastics industry. With a plan that encompasses health, comfort, strategic networking, and a balanced agenda, you’re not just attending NPE2024; you’re mastering it for your business’s current success and future growth.

Enjoy a fun guide to Orlando.  Prepared by the team at Conair with some great recommendations!

Finally, don’t forget to throw a few small items into your suitcase.  You may not need it but if you do, you won’t regret it.

  • Pain relief meds for headaches and back pain
  • Band-Aids (just in case you just bought those lovely new shoes)
  • Water bottle that can be refilled
  • Your favorite “hangover” remedy such as packets of electrolytes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Throat lozenges, breath mints or cough drops.
  • A sense of humor. This is the “Corporate Marathon” and no one runs a marathon without a smile