As IMTS opens, records are falling

Largest-ever show by size should break attendance mark as well.

By Bob Vavra, CFE Media September 10, 2018
The 2018 edition of the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) opens Sept. 10 in Chicago riding a wave of optimism and expecting record numbers.
“We’re in a very good place going into IMTS, but we’re not just talking about a trade show,” said Peter Eelman, vice president of exhibitions  and business development for the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) which stages the biannual IMTS event. “Manufacturing technology is in a good place. It’s in a growth place. It’s changing so rapidly that you need to get down to the emerging technology centers because it may change before the show ends.”
The rosy outlook for manufacturing is matched by record numbers for IMTS 2018. The show already has more exhibiting companies (2,563), more booths (21,23) and more square feet used at Chicago’s McCormick Place (1,424,232 sq ft) than at any previous IMTS. At the press preview Sept. 9, Eelman predicted the last record would fall–the attendance mark of 121,764, set during the dot-com era of 1998. “We had 114,290 people registered as of last night. We usually get 10,000 to 18,000 on-site registrations,” Eelman said. “We’re going to crush (the record). We don’t even know where it’s going to end up.”
Part of the growth of IMTS has been the inclusion of industrial automation as a main exhibit area for IMTS. Hannover Messe USA, which stages the industrial automation area at IMTS, has exported the global Hannover Messe brand to the U.S. for the first time for this year’s event. Since joining forces with AMY in 2012, Hannover Messe’s exhibit space at IMTS has grown more than 400% to 114,000 sq ft at the 2018 Hannover Messe USA.
In partnership with Hannover Messe USA, CFE Media will stage the Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS) on Wednesday, Sept. 12 starting with lunch at 11:30 a.m. in room W196C in the West Hall at McCormick Place. For details, go to

Bob Vavra, content manager, CFE Media,