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A3’s Automate postpones in-person conference to 2022, announces virtual show


Automate, one of the automation industry’s largest trade shows, has been postponed until 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) announced that instead of May 2021, Automate will take place June 6-9, 2022, at TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan.

A virtual event called Automate Forward will instead take place in 2021, from March 22-26. The conference will feature more than 80 speakers on robotics, machine vision, motion control, artificial intelligence, and smart automation technologies.

Automate Forward will include a virtual exhibit hall and networking centre where attendees can connect directly with companies and experts to solve their automation solutions.

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“The pandemic has taken a major toll on people all over the world,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of A3.

“While we expect that vaccines will have a positive impact in 2021, we don’t believe it would be in the best interests of our exhibitors, attendees, speakers and staff to hold an in-person Automate in May of 2021.

“Coming out of the pandemic, companies in every industry will be looking for automation products and solutions to help them become more successful in an increasingly automated world. Automate Forward and Automate 2022 will be critical to that growth.”

More than 20,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors are expected in Detroit for Automate 2022. The Automate Show in 2021 was on pace to be the largest ever, with nearly 300,000 square feet of exhibits. Exhibitors for the postponed 2021 show are currently being notified about how they can confirm their participation for Automate 2022.

In 2019, A3 announced Automate’s move to its new home in Detroit, after more than 25 years in Chicago. After 2022, Automate will return to its normal odd-year cycle with the next shows being held in Detroit on May 22-25, 2023 and May 12-15, 2025.