IMTS: The Super Bowl of Manufacturing

Aug. 25, 2022
There might not be any touchdowns at this trade show, but people who attend still have a ball.

As Machine Design gears up for the largest U.S. manufacturing trade show of the year, we were able to sit down (virtually) with Ed Nichols, CEO of Hannover Fairs USA, who discussed Hannover Messe USA, a trade show happening inside the larger IMTS Show Sept. 12-17 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Part 1 – The Relationship Between Hannover Fairs USA and AMT

Part 2 – IMTS: The Super Bowl of Manufacturing

Part 3 – What’s Next for Hannover Fairs USA?

Part two of this three-part series described the reasons behind the success of IMTS and why people and exhibitors come back for every event.

The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.

Bob Vavra: This is really for American manufacturing. This whole event is the Super Bowl. It’s the largest North American manufacturing event. It has attracted a tremendous crowd in the past. Can you talk a little bit about what you saw in Hannover in Germany this spring and some of the vibes that came out of that? It wasn’t all the way back to where it was, but it certainly made some big strides in that direction.

Ed Nichols: It certainly did. While it may not be at the high watermarks that it had been, business was being done. I would say the enthusiasm and therefore satisfaction levels of attendees and exhibitors were high enough that we had U.S. companies that were there that came to us now wanting to add Hannover Messe USA. Certainly, there was an inertia and there was an optimism that came from that event, and I think it really has translated to other U.S. events as well. We’re optimistic that will culminate, as you said, in a Super Bowl in September.

BV: The momentum that we’re seeing in manufacturing is real, but it’s also taking still some salesmanship and some convincing to let people know that it’s all moving back really in the right direction. Manufacturing did not slow down during the pandemic and we’re almost talking about the pandemic is in the past tense, but there’s still some real some real opportunity to come on into the show and seize what really the next opportunity is for you from a technology standpoint because we’re moving to digital manufacturing. There’s no question about that. It’s just a question of how quickly can some of our manufacturers out there embrace, and then implement, some of the technologies they’re going to see at the show.

EN: Bob, you’re so right and, addressing the pandemic, I think that taught us that there were some things and probably more than we realized that we can get online. However, the again to which enjoy that momentum to get back in person and really further the conversations. We can’t do that online. That’s an in-person act. I know that our AMT partner has done the same. We’ve actually doubled our marketing spend and marketing effort this year to make sure that we clearly articulated what’s available, why you need to be in Chicago in September. And again, the team is really excited to be there. You know, we dedicated the domestic staff just to this event this year. It’s that important to us and we’re very excited about it.

For more IMTS preview videos, visit our coverage hub.

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