ANTEC® 2023 attracted some 500 registered attendees in Denver, March 27 to 30, approximately twice the registered turnout of last year’s conference in Charlotte, N.C.
The event was the second in-person ANTEC® since the pandemic forced virtual presentations of the annual gathering in 2020 and 2021. While this year’s turnout was a bit less than one-half of the pre-pandemic registration posted at ANTEC 2019 in Detroit, attendee numbers were received with enthusiasm by SPE. “We’re very happy,” said COO Sue Wojnicki.
The conference also attracted a larger number of papers for presentation than last year—285, according to Dr. Iván D. López, SPE’s new director of technical programs, who oversaw the conference sessions. Last year, López noted, just over 150 papers were received.
The sources of the papers were also more diverse. ANTEC® usually attracts most of its research-intensive papers from academia, government laboratories and other specialized sources. Organizers are working to broaden submissions from industry. This year, López said, academic papers accounted for 60 percent of the total, while those sourced from industry represented 40 percent.
SPE and López want conference content to include more R&D and applications technologies from business. The plastics industry, he has said, faces challenges in many areas, especially the use and disposal of its products. Broadening conference content to include developments that are or will soon be commercial will boost the relevance and value of ANTEC® and the information it provides to attendees.
The site and dates of ANTEC® 2024 have not yet been announced by SPE.