One of the world’s largest trade shows, the International Manufacturing Technology Show, held every two years in Chicago, United States, has been cancelled for first time since World War 2.
The organisers cited concerns over coronavirus as the main reason.
In a press release, IMTS says: “Because of health and safety requirements imposed by the state of Illinois for holding conventions, which include the availability of a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus or a highly effective treatment protocol, IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show has announced that it has cancelled IMTS 2020.”
However, the organisers added that they will continue to offer digital experiences to foster connections, networking and technical learning opportunities.
IMTS will offer two comprehensive digital programs, IMTS Network and IMTS Spark, over the next several months to assist exhibitors and the manufacturing community. IMTS says it is “fully committed” to returning to McCormick Place as scheduled for its normal rotation, September 13-18, 2022.
Peter R. Eelman, VP and CXO at the Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS, says: “The show has been held uninterrupted for 73 years, but now the global coronavirus health crisis requires the cancellation of what would have been the 34th edition of IMTS for the health and safety of our exhibitors, audiences and local business community.
“Our organization and its members take immense pride in presenting one of the world’s largest manufacturing technology events, one that dates back to 1927.
“The cancellation is especially poignant because the show was poised to offer an unmatched breadth and depth of resources to help industry rethink, reestablish and reengage with supply chains disrupted by Covid-19.”
Visitors who have registered for IMTS 2020 have the choice to receive a refund on registration or transfer their registration to a tax-deductible donation to Miles For Manufacturing, where every dollar is given to programs that prepare students for careers in manufacturing technology. Exhibitors will receive direct communications from IMTS.
While acknowledging that an in-person show can never be replaced with a digital event, Eelman says IMTS feels a responsibility to provide exhibitors and visitors a way to connect.
“In the near future, we will launch the IMTS Network and IMTS Spark to provide the IMTS exhibitors and visitors with connections, networking opportunities and technical knowledge,” says Eelman.
The IMTS Network will live-stream a wide variety of features and human-interest stories from the Manufacturing Technology sector.
IMTS Spark, a new program, will be a comprehensive digital platform that connects IMTS exhibitors and visitors, provides educational and networking opportunities and offers first rate experiences, will launch in the near future.
IMTS had already taken action to help manufacturers address supply chain issues created by Covid-19. The IMTS.com/supplychain microsite – ReBuilding the Supply Chain – shows original equipment manufacturers how to rethink their current operations, how they can re-engage with suppliers and secure trading partners and how they can reestablish connections for a more localized industrial base.
It includes a brief history of why the supply chain disruption occurred, and IMTS has mapped out future content to show steps that can be taken to secure the supply chain moving forward.