IMTS Canceled

“Phase 5” prospects end one of last holdouts for season

One of the more significant holdouts of the convention world is officially canceled, as IMTS (the International Manufacturing Technology Show) announced it will not take place in Chicago this year.

The large, diverse trade show, which had been seeing steady growth over the last five years, was scheduled to take place September 14-19 at McCormick Place. IMTS joins the list of trade shows that won’t take place (in the physical) for the first time since World War II. Here is the official letter sent to all IMTS partners and exhibitors:

“To our valued partner:

The AMT Board of Directors and AMT staff have been closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 has had on the IMTS community. We sincerely hope that you, your family and your business remain healthy and safe.

As you may know, we have spent the past several weeks trying to get clarity from Illinois Governor, J. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, regarding the exact requirements for trade shows to take place in Chicago. In early May, Governor Pritzker introduced a five-phased plan to re-open Illinois businesses. As it reads, the plan specifically states that conventions are included in phase 5 of the plan. The conditions that must be met for the implementation of phase 5 feature either the availability of a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus or a highly effective treatment protocol, neither of which are expected to occur in the coming months.

In light of these difficult and challenging circumstances, IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, scheduled for September 14-19, 2020 had to be cancelled. While this saddens us, the health and safety of our exhibitors and audience remains our top priority.

We do, however, realize and understand that even though there is no physical event in 2020, it is our responsibility to provide the IMTS exhibitors and audience with connections, networking opportunities and technical knowledge. We do not take this responsibility lightly and, to that end, we will launch two programs that will accomplish these goals.

  • IMTS Network: We will host the IMTS Network, live-streaming a wide variety of features and human stories from the Manufacturing Technology sector. More information about the IMTS Network will be provided very soon.
  • NEW – IMTS Spark: IMTS Spark, 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.

At this time, the final terms of cancellation are being determined as the AMT Board of Directors is finalizing the stipulations. As soon as they are complete, we will reach out to discuss our 2020 contract.

On behalf of the AMT Board of Directors, the IMTS Show Committee, the AMT Staff and specifically my team, we would like to thank you for your patience, loyalty and partnership through these unprecedented and challenging times. We truly appreciate you.

Best Regards,

Peter R Eelman
Vice President & CXO”

Here’s what we’re missing…at a show EA can vouch is quite wonderful.

In a follow-up press release sent from Bonnie Gurney, senior director of strategic partnerships for IMTS and AMT, elaboration was provided.

“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.

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 is fully committed to returning to McCormick Place as scheduled for its normal rotation, September 13-18, 2022.

“The show has been held uninterrupted for more than 80 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,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President & CXO at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS. “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 OEMs how to rethink their current operations, how they can reengage 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.”

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