ProMat sees 20% attendance increase; largest event in show history

The four-day event, April 3-6, covered 384,000 net square feet of exhibit space on two show floors at Chicago's McCormick Place with 956 exhibiting companies.

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Manufacturing and supply chain professionals gathered in record numbers in Chicago at the recent ProMat 2017, the largest material handling and logistics trade expo in North and South America. With registrations of 44,872 attendees, show producer MHI announces a 20 percent attendance jump over 2015.

The four-day event, April 3-6, covered 384,000 net square feet of exhibit space on two show floors at Chicago’s McCormick Place with 956 exhibiting companies. The ProMat expo was once again collocated with Automate 2017.

ProMat visitors included key decision-makers in virtually all manufacturing and supply chain industries including a majority of the Fortune 1000 and Top 100 Retailers. The quality of the visitors was very strong with a large number of buying teams from key firms in attendance.

“ProMat 2017 was the largest in the events 32-year history,” said George Prest CEO of MHI. “The energy level among visitors and exhibitors was at an all-time high. Even more exciting was that ProMat visitors came in buying teams with plans in hand and a confidence that has not been seen in manufacturing and the supply chain in many years.”

According to registration data, 85 percent of attendees had buying authority and 39 percent plan on spending $1 million or more over the next 18 months on equipment and systems.

Reflecting the growing global nature of the event, attendees from outside the United States at this year’s ProMat represented 115 countries and six continents. They were welcomed by ProMat’s International Visitors Center.

Along with the healthy traffic on the show floor, other highlights of ProMat 2017 included the educational conference that accompanied the ProMat exhibition. This included keynotes on supply chain sustainability, Industry 4.0 and NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson. The conference also included a keynote panel discussing the findings of the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report - “Next-Generation Supply Chains: Digital, On-Demand and Always-On.”

The conference included over 130 show floor educational seminars on a variety of topics and, for the first time, the event featured solution centers with exhibits and education on supply chain sustainability and autonomous vehicles. Webinars of ProMat 2017 educational seminars will soon be available at

During ProMat, MHI Industry Night on Wednesday, April 5 featured comedian Dana Carvey. MHI donated $35,700 in ticket sales from the event to the Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. Additionally, the door prize for this event was a $30,000 trip of a lifetime.

During Industry Night, MHI announced the 2017 MHI Innovation Award winners. The winner of Best Innovation of an Existing Product was EuroSort Inc. for Twin Push Tray Sorter, winner for best IT Innovation was Ubimax GmbH for Enterprise Wearable Computing Suite and winner of the Best New Innovation was Proship, Inc. for CVP-500 Automated Packaging System.

The winners of the 2017 MHI Young Professional Network (YPN) awards were also announced at the event. The YPN Mentor Award went to Pete Saladis of The Raymond Corporation and the YPN Outstanding Young Professional Award went to Tyler Schmakel of Rasco Industries, Inc.

Also at Industry Night, MHI awarded International Technical Coatings (ITC) Chief Operating Officer AriAnne Sproat with the 2017 Face of the Supply Chain award.

ProMat 2017 Student Days introduced students and educators to career opportunities in material handling, supply chain and logistics through hands-on learning and networking with industry professionals. This year’s Classroom Day combined an interactive educational session with a dynamic guided tour of the ProMat show floor and off-site facility tours. Over 200 students and faculty from 40 schools participated in Student Days.

ProMat 2019 will be held at McCormick Place from April 8-11, 2019.

The next MHI-sponsored trade event will be MODEX 2018, April 9-12, 2018 in Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.

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