For B2B companies, industry shows are the ultimate networking event.
Last year, as part of our commitment to expanding our niche in the advanced manufacturing industry, we decided to research manufacturing trade shows and expositions that we might attend in order to learn more about the industry. Our first stop was at IMTS in Chicago, and it was an eye-opening foray into the world of engineering and technology.
From that experience, we learned that many attendees need our digital marketing and web development services and are happy to see us there. (And for those who weren’t interested, we learned to move on quickly!)
We also recognized the great value of in-person events. Not only did we get a crash course in all the different sectors of the manufacturing and technology industry, but we were also able to hear first-hand from different businesses about what their actual marketing needs are. This experience has helped us build our own expertise, and it’s part of how we plan to continue offering top-level digital marketing and web development services to our clients.
4 Reasons to Go to Shows
Show attendance is part of our own business strategy, but we think it holds value for many of our clients as well. If you’re considering whether you should attend a conference, exposition, or trade show, here are four incentives:
1. Learn about your industry and stay up to date.
Expositions, conferences, and trade shows are all about seeing the latest and greatest in your industry. Whether you’re attending as a buyer hoping to find just the right solution to a challenge you’re facing, a supplier hoping to bring in new leads, or an observer hoping to scope out the competition, attending shows will keep you on your toes.
2. Get to know the people in your own backyard!
We’ve traveled across the country to attend some conferences, but we’re also establishing a local presence by showing up at some of the smaller (and not-so-small) trade shows close by our region in southeast Michigan. Our roots are here, so it’s only right that we know our neighbors. We suspect many of our clients find similar value in building relationships within their economic region.
3. Position yourself as presentable and authoritative.
Shows offer a lot of visibility. They are a competitive environment where attendees will be able to directly compare you to others around you. Coming prepared with professional business cards, brochures, and other marketing collateral will help you stand out from the crowd. Moreover, the experience you gain from attending shows will help you present yourself as more knowledgeable!
4. Network to keep connections alive.
One of the most important questions we’ve learned to ask since we began attending conferences is “which show are you going to next?” It’s a great way to hear about new events, a subtle way to signal your commitment to the industry, and an opening to rekindle the connection at a future date.
Upcoming Advanced Manufacturing Shows for 2023
We’ve put a lot of work into researching the shows we want to attend, and we’re happy to share that effort with you. Here are the upcoming shows we plan to attend in 2023—and keep an eye out later in the year when we announce our conference schedule for 2024!
Based out of Chicago, Rapid+TCT is a premier additive manufacturing expo. Companies from around the world will be showcasing their 3D printing technologies, and industry experts will be delivering over 130 technical presentations.
For anyone in the glass or ceramics industry, the Ceramics Expo in Novi, MI is an opportunity to learn about the latest materials technology, as well as new manufacturing and processing options.
Robotics Summit and Expo
Boston has established itself in recent years as an innovation hub for cutting-edge robotics, and the Robotics Summit and Expo offers a front-row seat on the action.
The Eastern States Exposition (EASTEC) is part of a series of manufacturing technology events held across the country. A broad event, the conference will bring together everyone from industry thought leaders to tool and technology suppliers.
Sometimes the shows in your backyard also happen to be some of the largest industry shows in the country. Detroit will host over 25,000 registrants who come to Automate to learn about the latest in the field of automation.
IM Engineering East
IM Engineering East is actually a six-in-one expo, including trade shows from the medical design and manufacturing industry, plastics fabrication and 3D printing, design engineering, assembly robotics, packaging technology, and quality and compliance.
With trade shows hosted every few weeks around the country, Design2Part is a mainstay in the trade show circuit for anyone in the manufacturing parts and services industry.
Last year, the Advanced Manufacturing Expo attracted 3,000 manufacturing and engineering experts. This year, the Grand Rapids-based show is scaling up operations and positioning itself as a truly national show.
The Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show in Toronto promises to attract Canada’s top manufacturers in industries spanning machine tooling and metalworking to automotive and aerospace.
EV Tech Expo and Battery Show
With electric vehicles continuing to grow into a dominant force in automotive manufacturing, the Battery Show promises to offer exciting insights into breakthroughs in this technology.
Another major Chicago manufacturing event, FABTECH will gather together North America’s top experts in metalworking, welding, fabricating, and finishing.
Advanced Engineering Minneapolis
Like IM Engineering East, Advanced Engineering Minneapolis will combine expositions from several manufacturing sectors, including prototyping and automation, medical device manufacturing, and automation.
The Wisconsin Manufacturing and Technology Show offers a first-hand opportunity to see the latest in manufacturing technology in action, including stamping and fabrication, metrology, and tool and die production.
For manufacturers operating in the assembly space, or for those who need assembly automation, the Assembly Show is a dedicated event focusing on this technology.
October 30–November 3
The International Conference on Advanced Manufacturing, hosted by ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, will join industry experts to discuss standardization, qualification, and certification within the advanced manufacturing world.
Finally, we have the West Coast sister event to EASTEC: a conference for those in advanced manufacturing technology, equipment, and tooling which promises to round off our year of conferences nicely.
We hope to see you there!
We’ve been leaning into trade shows and manufacturing conventions as part of our efforts to grow our niche in the advanced manufacturing sector. If you’re at one of these shows and would like to talk to us, send us an email! We’ll do our best to find your booth and say hello.