IMTS 2020 prospects for Chicago dimmer than ever

CHICAGO – The semi-annual International Manufacturing Technology Show may not end up happening after all in 2020, organizers are hinting after postponing a couple of months, due to the COVID-19 crisis. Now the state’s plan to re-open demands the development of a vaccine before allowing more than 50 people to gather at any given spot.

If the IMTS 2020 doesn’t come to pass, the city of Chicago will sustain yet another devastating economic blow.

ITMS hosted in 2018 the highest number of exhibiting companies ever (2,563) and was the largest in number of registrations (129,415) and in net square feet of exhibit space (1,424,232) at Chicago’s McCormick Place complex.

IMTS 2020 is scheduled to be the 33rd edition of the premier manufacturing technology show in North America, to be held September 14 — 19 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Until last week, show organizers had announced that the show would be taking place as planned, despite the issues surround the COVID-19 crisis. However, that optimistic outlook has changed. The following statement was posted to the IMTS website last week:

  • “As many of you know, Illinois Governor Pritzker announced a phased reopening plan for businesses last week. While there has been some confusion about the details and application of standards, we realize that the document as written, would not permit conventions to be held until major milestones, such as a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19 are achieved. While an industry group has reached out to the Governor to clarify what exactly is required for trade shows (precautions, distancing, etc.), we are not optimistic that changes will be made that would permit IMTS to be held in September. We are working diligently to finalize this guidance from the governor and expect to be able to announce more details in the near future. We thank you for your patience as we work with our partners to confirm our next steps.”

And here is an updated statement from IMTS officials, posted 5/20:

  • “This week there are many important meetings taking place regarding the next steps on the phased reopening plan for businesses by Illinois Governor Pritzker. Out of these meetings, AMT is looking to receive some clarity and clear direction for how the state is moving forward for hosting trade shows. Once we know the results, we will communicate the information and identify how this impacts us. We thank you for your continued patience as we await word from the results of these meetings.The AMT Board of Directors and AMT staff continue to work closely and evaluate the impact COVID-19 has had on AMT members, IMTS exhibitors, and the industry. We understand that everyone is anticipating clear direction soon and we are doing our best to obtain the information necessary to provide direction.”