Show sees 115,612 registrants, most-ever exhibitors, ground breaking technology

The numbers are in for IMTS 2016, the 31st edition of the show, which ran September 12-17 at Chicago’s McCormick Place!
  • 115,612 registrants, third largest ever
  • 1,370,256 net sq. ft. of exhibit space, third largest ever
  • 2,407 exhibiting companies, highest number ever
  • 76 million pounds of freight at McCormick Place after exhibits were loaded in
  • 17,000+ students, parents and educators visited the Smartforce Student Summit 

“IMTS has grown not only in size, but in the overall scope of manufacturing,” says Peter R. Eelman, AMT Vice President – Exhibitions & Business Development. “There are more compelling reasons for people to attend. Whether they come to research new technology, evaluate vendors before purchasing, find solutions or connect with the leaders in the manufacturing industry, there is simply no substitute for attending IMTS.”

Though Eelman stresses that IMTS is about much more than sheer numbers, “we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the visitors, exhibitors and vendors who contributed to the success and quality of IMTS.”

The dominant technologies at IMTS 2016 were additive manufacturing, robotics automation and an increasing presence of digital manufacturing technologies, according to Tim Shinbara, AMT Vice President – Manufacturing Technology.

Opening ceremonies   

IMTS 2016 opening ceremonies spoke to the future of manufacturing while also tying it into IMTS history. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker delivered a keynote address in the Grand Concourse on the show’s opening day. “There are three key reasons why ‘Made in America’ remains the best brand in the world: our people, our business climate and our capacity to innovate,” Pritzker said. She also announced that the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation has been officially rebranded as Manufacturing USA (  

The East Building and Smartforce Student Summit opened by honoring engineer Jim Allemann for attending his 25th consecutive IMTS, and also 13-year-old Oliver Leopold, who was attending his second IMTS after sharing the experiences from his first visit in an inspiring YouTube video (

Technologies from the future

AMT’s Emerging Technology Center put a spotlight on 3D printing, including vehicles, a wind turbine blade, medical implants, and the AMIE project, a high-performance mobile home sharing an integrated energy system with a natural gas-fueled hybrid-electric vehicle.

The IMTS Ride Experience presented “Olli,” a self-driving electric vehicle that deftly navigated through the structural support pillars in C Hall. Equipped with IBM Watson artificial intelligence technology, Olli represents how direct digital manufacturing and 3D printing are fundamentally changing the way manufacturers design and create products.

Education and engagement

Conference sessions at IMTS 2016 collectively attracted 2,296 attendees and offered 159 sessions spanning 151+ hours of programing. “The hottest topic, judging solely by attendance, was additive manufacturing,” said Bill Herman, AMT Director - International Exhibitions and Sponsorship. Experience IMTS – watch the IMTSTV shows at

IMTS 2018 Dates and First Deadlines
IMTS 2018 will be held at McCormick Place, Sept. 10-15, 2018. Space application forms are available at The submission deadline to be included in the initial space assignment is Oct. 12, 2016.