ProMat 2017: Hit the floor, stay in step

If the early attendee forecast is any indication, you may have already landed in Chicago for ProMat 2017 (April 3-6), the materials handling industry’s leading trade show and educational conference, sponsored by MHI.

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According to MHI, the 2017 event has attracted more than 900 exhibitors—a new record—and will span more than 375,000 square feet of space throughout the sprawling McCormick Place. And while that’s a lot of ground to cover, Modern is here to help you get the most out of this important experience either before you arrive or while you’re making your way through the aisles.

Last month we offered our official ProMat Show Planner, a section that presented readers the lay of the land. This month, our editorial staff has put together 40 pages of coverage containing more than 100 products that will be available at this year’s show—the broadest pre-show collection available. With so much under one roof, you may find it useful to pinpoint a few key solutions in advance to help optimize your time on the show floor.

And while our February and March issues have helped in your planning, Modern will once again produce the official ProMat Show Daily during the event, with print editions being distributed Monday through Wednesday at the entrance to the show and online editions and coverage blasting the entire week.

We’ll have a force of seven editors on the ground, covering more than 25 press conferences and dozens of booth visits—bringing, by far, the most comprehensive show coverage available in the market.

If you’re still looking for some inspiration to get pumped up for the show, the preliminary findings of our “Annual Warehouse and Distribution Center Equipment Survey” should provide the impetus.

According to the team at Peerless Research Group (PRG), two broad findings stand out from the 2017 results: First, spending is generally up, quite noticeably in technology solutions; and second, the catalyst for that investment can be directly linked to the pressures associated with e-commerce fulfillment, with respondents expecting those pressures to rise over the next two years.

So if you’re feeling the heat and are ready to invest, you’re not alone. According to our survey, which will be released in Modern next month, 35% of respondents told us they’re proceeding with investments now, up from a 21% response to the same question in early 2016. However, 54% of respondents told us they expect to be spending more on materials handling systems and related technology over the next two years—a robust outlook to be sure.

With e-commerce marching on at double-digit growth rates, Modern readers know that their organizations can’t afford to fall out of step by failing to invest in new systems—and all the numbers illustrate a market that’s eager to keep pace.


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