Industry Market Trends

Trade Show Preview: Navigating IMTS and Beyond

Aug 14, 2014

There is less than a month to go till the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. Now is the time to start organizing for the trade show, says IMTS organizer Association For Manufacturing Technology, which this year will release the IMTS 2014 Mobile App for easier personal planning.

Visiting a city like Chicago, with a population of more than 2.7 million people, and McCormick Place, the nation's largest convention center, during the International Manufacturing Technology Show could be an overwhelming experience.

"For a show the size of IMTS, with more than 1,900 exhibiting companies in four large buildings, using the planning tools makes sense for an efficient visit," said Peter Eelman, vice president of exhibitions and communications at AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and operates IMTS. "As much as we encourage walk-arounds, identifying interesting exhibitors and using the MyShow Planner tool to save what is of interest to a personal agenda promises to make a visit more productive."

Visitors can easily create a custom list of companies exhibiting at IMTS in which they are interested and then organize and save sessions and appointments to their personal calendars.

Past show participants who have used the tool have found that they make the most of their time (and save their feet) by locating the exhibitors and products they want to see before they even arrive in Chicago. They are able to locate new companies with services and products of which they may not have even been aware.

The scheduling feature of MyShow Planner allows users to pre-schedule appointments with exhibitors. Because they have some advance information, exhibitors can be prepared with the right booth staff and product demonstrations and information upon the visitor's arrival. This makes the best use of everyone's time.

The tool also provides post-visit reference. Users find it useful to log back in after the show is over to remind themselves which exhibitors they visited and what they were displaying.

In addition to containing MyShow Planner, the IMTS 2014 Mobile App (available for Android and iOS) has other features to make visiting IMTS easy. Users can view floor plans while on the show floor, get directions from one exhibitor to the next, see the IMTS Conference session schedule, get alerts for important show messages, special events, travel and hotel information, Chicago happenings, and access IMTS social media channels.

Navigating and Experiencing Chicago Beyond IMTS

Beyond the excitement of IMTS, Chicago's colorful fall months deliver nothing short of magical experiences.

Getting around is easy, and there are many options. With about eight blocks to every mile, Chicago is a walking city. Madison Street divides the city north and south, while State Street divides it east and west. The State/Madison intersection marks the origin of Chicago's address grid system. Addresses are relative to the distance from that mark. So an address of 3600 North Madison means that it is 36 blocks north of Madison.

Not all of Chicago's eight 'L' train lines are "elevated." They do, however, connect the city via above-ground, street-level, and subway trains and serve 144 stations all over town, making the 'L' one of the most efficient and affordable methods of transportation available. Two lines offer round-the-clock service: the Blue Line, which connects the airport and downtown, and the Red Line, with service between the North and South Sides, via downtown.

Plus, more than 100 bus routes lace the city; buses stop every few blocks. Several lines operate 24 hours. Taxis are plentiful and easy to hail in downtown, and offer a convenient way to get around the city.

IMTS makes available some special opportunities, and Sweet Deals Chicago provides various dining and sightseeing discounts during the show.

During the autumn season, a Chicago getaway means abundant sunshine while shopping the Magnificent Mile. A fresh, crisp-air stroll through Millennium Park brings visitors to The Bean. This iconic draw, officially named Cloud Gate, is a massive, stainless steel structure that has become Chicago's signature landmark, with its mirror-like surface, providing visitors with unique looks at their own reflections.

Comfortable and cool September temperatures offer visitors an ideal environment as they experience other sights, including Navy Pier, incredible museums, architectural treasures, and dining delights that make Chicago a world-class city.

Top photo credit: porbital at


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Whitney Brown is media communications manager for AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. The International Manufacturing Technology Show, IMTS, is produced by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. Based in McLean, Va., AMT represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members - those who design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing. For more, visit AMT's website For more information on IMTS and to register your team, visit