How to Make the Most of IMTS 2018

Posted by: 20. August 2018


Next month, my colleagues will be descending on Chicago, Illinois—along with some 115,000 other visitors—to attend the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), set to take place September 10-15.


To learn. For us, the idea is to soak up as much as possible in order to share it with you, the reader, in the pages of Modern Machine Shop. But you’re also going there to learn: about new products, new technologies, new processes, new faces. But with over a million square feet of ground to cover and hundreds of thousands of attendees weaving their way through tens of thousands of exhibits, how can you make the most of the short time you’re at the show?

In collaboration with AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology, Modern Machine Shop published a blog post back in February with five keys to doing just that. They were:

1. Plan your visit by registering, downloading the MyShow Planner mobile app (link) and taking a divide-and-conquer approach to prioritize must-see exhibit. 

2. Listen to industry experts both in the booth and at one or more of the over 150 conference sessions scheduled. This year, IMTS will host learning sessions specifically geared toward owner-operated job shops, among them: 

  • Uncopyable: Creating an Unfair Advantage Over the Competition,” at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 12 or Friday, September 14. Gain insights from marketing master Steve Miller, who will discuss new ideas for business growth and lessons from his new book (complimentary to all participants) of the same title.
  • “The Unending Search for Qualified Labor” on Wednesday, September 12 from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. An elite panel of job shop peers will share how they are overcoming this major challenge facing our industry.

3. Connect socially with fellow shop types and potential suppliers, as well as tap into the state of the industry by talking with industry thought leaders.

4. Watch live demonstrations on the show floor and presentations in booths and conference sessions. 

5. Apply what you learn later by documenting your experience as you go (keep a notebook, take pictures and video, etc.).

Come to think of it, these tips are as useful for our purposes as they are for yours. All of us are trying to understand developments in the industry, and that’s what IMTS is all about.

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