IMTS 2018 Breaks Own Records for Exhibitors, Booths and Space

September 11, 2018

The 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show kicked off this week in Chicago by breaking new records for booths and exhibiting companies, as well as the most exhibit space ever reported in the show’s 91-year history.

Taking place Sept. 10-15 at McCormick Place, IMTS 2018 is boasting 2,123 booths representing 2,563 exhibiting companies spanning 1,424,232 square feet of expo space. 

As of Sept. 7, the number of pre-registered visitors for the biennial show exceeded 113,000, which also is on pace for a possible record, according to officials from the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), which owns and produces IMTS. 

“IMTS 2018 is setting records because manufacturing technology has grown exponentially since last show,” explained Peter R. Eelman, vice president of exhibitions and business development at AMT, which represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members who design, build, sell, and service it. 

He continued, “The rapid growth of digital technology, automation and additive manufacturing are especially driving interest. The booming manufacturing economy means visitors have capital and are ready to invest.” 

The 2016 edition of IMTS was the third largest show in the number of registrations and net square feet of exhibit space, with 115,612 attendees and 1,370,256 sq. ft., respectively, and hosted the highest number of exhibiting companies at 2,407. 

Other past historical highs for IMTS included 1,415,848 sq. ft. of exhibit space in 2000; 1,475 booths in 2014 and 121,764 visitors in 1998. 

Known as the largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the U.S., IMTS is considered a top platform for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment and technology as well as attracting global visitors from every level of the industry, according to AMT officials.

Besides setting new records, the show also is touting expanded technology pavilions, collocated conferences and events, as well as two AMT’s Emerging Technology Centers, which are focused on digital transformation and highlighting the digital manufacturing revolution in-action with hundreds of demonstrations on how businesses in a variety of sectors are implementing cutting-edge innovations. 

“Visitors find more productive technologies and change their business practices as a result of attending IMTS,” Eelman said. “Exhibitors make finding new solutions easy because they time product introductions to coincide with IMTS. Booths emphasize new ideas, not standard products.”

Conferences and events collocating with IMTS include the IMTS Job Shops program; the Additive Manufacturing Conference; Applied AM-Where Additive Minds Meet; the Top Shops Workshop; the Industrial Laser Conference and three conferences from HANNOVER MESSE USA including the Global Automation & Manufacturing Summit, OPC Foundation Conference and the Integrated Industries Conference. 

Meanwhile, the popular IMTS Conference is offering more than 72 sessions focused on top-of-mind topics including manufacturing process innovations; additive/alternative manufacturing; plant operations; automation/robotics; Industry 4.0/IIoT and quality/inspection/metrology.

“Educational opportunities exist in every square foot of McCormick Place,” Eelman said. “IMTS offers many options for learning, experiencing innovative technologies and creating personal connections. The show allows you to see the future of manufacturing today.”


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