SPE – Inspiring Plastics Professionals, Danbury, Connecticut, has announced that its annual ANTEC® 2021 technical conference is entering its second year as a fully-virtual event but has moved the event dates from March to May. ANTEC® 2021 now starts May 5. ANTEC® 2022 and 2023 also will be held in May of those respective years, with full details of those events to be announced once the pandemic situation becomes clearer.
SPE CEO Patrick Farrey stated that the unfortunate cancellation of NPE gives SPE the opportunity to move its annual technical conference back to its traditional May timeframe. SPE had previously agreed to move ANTEC® to March to avoid the conflict of having two major industry events in the same month but May has always been the preferred timeframe for its members, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.
Farrey also indicated that the May 2021 edition will feature a powerful new online platform, selected to enhance the social and business connections between attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. Farrey stated that last year’s pandemic-inspired virtual ANTEC® was a great success, with more than 4,000 attendees and 50 exhibitors participating. The overwhelming feedback, however, was that those participants wanted more ways to interact – buyers with exhibitors, attendees with speakers, friends with friends. So, this year’s ANTEC® will do that in ways that were not even possible last year.
The new ANTEC® platform includes sophisticated introduction and connection tools. Through both self-selection and artificial intelligence matching, attendees and exhibitors will be “connected” based on their own preferences and profiles. For exhibitors, this means they can find and speak directly with their qualified buyers and engage one-on-one with decision-makers who meet their specific criteria, through embedded video chat and messaging – during and after the event.
Farrey stated that events like ANTEC® are important for the plastics industry. It is unfortunate that the pandemic has forced the cancellation of the industry’s live events. The good news is that, after producing dozens of virtual events in 2020, SPE is prepared for another successful virtual event.