Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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IMTS 2020 conference cancelled due to ongoing COVID-19 response [UPDATED]


June 8, 2020
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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IMTS-2020Photo: IMTS

Organizers have cancelled this year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), scheduled to be held in Chicago, Illinois from September 14-19, 2020.

The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) says it has been monitoring the ongoing impact of COVID-19 in the region and been in talks with the governor about the state’s five-phase plan for reopening.

Trade shows are only permitted in phase five of the plan, and “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,” says Peter R. Eelman, vice-president and chief experience officer of AMT, in a statement.

“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.

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“The health and safety of our exhibitors and audience remains our top priority,” he continues. “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.”

AMT plans to launch two virtual platforms to help facilitate those connections: IMTS Network, which will live-stream a wide variety of features and stories from the manufacturing technology sector, and IMTS Spark, a digital platform that connects IMTS exhibitors and visitors and provides educational and networking opportunities.

The show will return to McCormick Place in Chicago September 13-18, 2022 for its regular two-year rotational schedule.

Also cancelled is the Hannover Messe USA 2020 fair, which was to be held within the IMTS conference.

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.

This article was updated June 9, 9 a.m. EDT.