Due to "health concerns", the show "had to be canceled" said one executive.

On Monday, June 1st, Peter Eelman, Vice President and CXO of the Association for Manufacturing Technology, announced that IMTS 2020 is canceled.

The International Manufacturing Technology Show is the biggest trade show of the year for HDH Labs and one of the largest manufacturing industry trade shows held in North America.  

On May 1st, Eelman said that the show would go on as planned September 14-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago, but warned that a lot can change in a month — especially during these sensitive times. 

"An in-person IMTS show can never be replaced with a virtual event."

— Peter Eelman, Vice President and CXO, AMT

According to a statement from Eelman, AMT has been closely monitoring COVID-19’s impact on the IMTS community. He says that AMT has been working to get clarity from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot regarding the new requirements and protocols for events of this magnitude to take place in Chicago. 

In early May, like many areas in the country, Governor Pritzker introduced a five-phase re-opening plan for Illinois businesses; conventions are part of the last phase.

The re-opening plan details a COVID-19 vaccine or “highly effective treatment protocol” in order to begin Phase 5. Due to the fact that neither a vaccine or treatment protocol is approved or expected in the coming months, this appears to the be the catalyst for cancellation.

Eelman said IMTS “had to be canceled because the health and safety of our exhibitors and audience remains our top priority.”

Registration fees can be refunded or transferred to a tax-deductible donation to Miles For Manufacturing, a charity that donates every dollar to programs that prepare students for careers in manufacturing technology.

Eelman adds that an “in-person IMTS show can never be replaced with a virtual event,” however, AMT is planning to launch two programs to offer networking opportunities and technical knowledge. The new initiatives include: 

  • IMTS Network: A live-streaming channel featuring human-interest stories from the manufacturing technology sector. 
  • IMTS Spark: A digital platform that hopes to connect IMTS exhibitors and visitors, as well as provide educational and networking opportunities.

Eelman’s statement didn’t provide a launch date for IMTS Network or IMTS Spark.