60 Seconds with Tom Carbott, MHI

Modern's staff sat down with MHI's Tom Carbott to discuss the upcoming Modex Show 2018

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Tom Carbott

Title: Senior vice president of exhibitions.

Location: Charlotte, N.C.

Experience: More than 27 years with MHI.

Duties: Responsible for the sales and operations of MHI exhibitions.

Modern: What number Modex is this for MHI?

Carbott: This is the fourth Modex. The show debuted in 2012 in Atlanta, and it’s held every two years in even number years.

Modern: Let’s do some numbers. How much space? How many exhibitors? How many attendees do you expect? How many educational sessions?

Carbott: This edition will be the largest by every measure. We’re looking at about 275,000 net square feet, which compares to 172,000 net square feet for the first show. We’ll have more than 900 exhibitors on the show floor, and we’re projecting 28,000 total attendance versus 25,000 in 2016. For the first time, the Georgia Logistics Summit is co-locating with Modex in the C hall. Education will be a huge part of the show. There will be more than 100 educational sessions as part of the Modex show; there will be another 30 sessions as part of the Georgia Logistics Summit; and another 25 sessions focusing on the Internet of Things and the connected supply chain in the C hall.

Modern: This was a very new show in 2012. How has it evolved over the years?

Carbott: The idea for Modex was to create a show that includes the broader supply chain. ProMat focuses on solutions inside the four walls; Modex, includes that, but also includes the suppliers and technologies that bring materials into the four walls and take them out of the four walls. That was the big add that we didn’t have in the old NA shows. The big evolution has been in the scale of the show. At the first Modex, we had 32 partners putting together educational content. You see how many we’ll have this year. In 2014, we had about 10,000 square feet dedicated to transportation and logistics. That grew to 15,000 square feet in 2016. This year, we’re looking at close to 30,000 net square feet. It’s been slow but steady growth.

Modern: What will attendees see this year?

Carbott: Attendees are going to see the newest solutions in our space as well as that extended supply chain. There will be a full complement of exhibits and educational sessions under the transportation and logistics banner. There will be content around emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and robotics. And, there are 100 entries for the Innovation Awards, which is an all-time high for Modex.

Modern: How do you think this reflects how the industry and the needs of MHI members are changing?

Carbott: I think Modex validates the feedback we got from research we did with show attendees when we were looking to initiate a new show. We found many of our attendees now had responsibilities around transportation and logistics, and were looking for one show that offered all of their resources. It would eliminate the need for a separate transportation and logistics show.

Modern: Any last thoughts?

Carbott: It’s just been exciting, in my opinion, for our industry to see the support for the event by the end user community. There’s also a lot of excitement around new products and the growth opportunities coming our way from e-commerce, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things—all the new technologies and processes that are touching our industry.

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