Modex 2014 Show Planner: See it all

With more than 750 exhibitors, three keynotes and an extensive educational program, Modex 2014 is adding 50,000 square feet of show floor space. Here’s a guide to every inch.

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In just about two months, the Georgia World Congress Center Hall B will be set to welcome 25,000 visitors to Modex 2014—the industry’s newest expo for the manufacturing, distribution and supply chain industries, sponsored by MHI.

Attendees will find more than 750 exhibits from industry, commerce and government spread throughout the 230,000-square-foot show floor (an increase from 180,000 square feet at the inaugural Modex in 2012). Also included in the program are three keynotes and more than 90 educational sessions over the four days.

Modern checked in with George Prest, CEO of MHI, to get a sneak peek into what’s being planned for the show, which is being held from March 17-20, 2014.

“It’s shaping up to be an incredible show,” said Prest. “We’ve moved from Hall C to Hall B to accommodate the demand for exhibit space, as well as to add 15,000 square feet to co-locate the inaugural Supply Chain & Transportation USA Exhibition & Conference (SCT).”

To further make the event a one-stop destination, registered attendees not only gain full access to Modex, but also free entry into the SCT exhibits. There, four solution centers—transportation, logistics, industrial real estate, and the future of supply chain—are located inside the Modex show, to the left of the main entrance.

“Adding the SCT show gives attendees more opportunities to maximize their time and reinforces Modex’s position as the largest supply chain show in North and South America,” Prest added.

Although this is only the second Modex show, the event’s growth wasn’t a surprise to MHI, he said. “It validates all the research we did before we launched Modex that said supply chain professionals were looking for an event like this.”

The growth in attendance and exhibit space mirrors the growth at MHI’s other major show, ProMat. MHI held its space draw for ProMat in December 2013, setting a new record of 229,375 square feet sold—representing 75% of the planned exhibit area of 305,000 square feet, said Prest.

“Our industry is at a really strong place in the economic cycle right now. Companies are looking to invest in productivity,” he added. “We saw industry growth of 8% in 2013, and we’re projecting double-digit growth for 2014.”

Because of that, Prest anticipates that attendees will be walking the exhibit aisles with project plans in hand. They’ll also be looking to get new ideas about how to improve their supply chain efficiencies. To accommodate that, MHI is placing a strong emphasis on creative solutions, hosting the second installment of the Innovation Awards for new and existing products.

“We debuted the Innovation Awards at ProMat 2013, and it was a huge success with more than 75 entries,” said Prest. “With the speed of change happening exponentially, attendees have told us in exit surveys that they specifically come to MHI shows to seek out new ideas about how they can increase productivity and maximize their bottom line.”

Additionally, he added, Modex has 13 co-located education partners presenting events at the show, the largest being the Georgia Logistics Summit, held Tuesday and Wednesday upstairs from the Modex show floor.

Information about all Modex-related events can be accessed from the official Modex app. The app offers an interactive map, exhibitor search, educational sessions search and information about the keynotes. Attendees can also access their personalized agenda using the mobile app. Available free at both Android and Apple app stores, downloading information can be found at

To make it easier for attendees to find the solutions they need, the Modex 2014 show floor is divided into four solution centers:
Manufacturing and Assembly: Featuring automated assembly support, intelligent devices, robotics, ergonomic and safety equipment, workstations, light-rail and other assembly assist equipment and systems for the manufacturing environment.

Fulfillment and Delivery: Showcases solutions for traditional or e-commerce order fulfillment, order picking and packaging, third-party logistics, warehousing, distribution or transportation.

Information Technology (IT): Highlighting supply chain software solutions, RFID, auto-ID and data collection, transportation management systems, manufacturing execution systems, logistics execution systems, enterprise resource planning and order management systems.

The Knowledge Center: Offering resources to educate and build awareness of what the materials handling and logistics industry has to offer the supply chain as a whole.

Keynotes talk trends and technologies
This year, Modex features three keynote presentations, each offering critical insights from experts into shipping trends, building successful supply chains, and the latest issues and trends in materials handling and logistics.

The first talk runs this morning from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. in the Georgia World Congress Center Hall B’s room B312-314, and features Gil West, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Delta Airlines, and William L. Strang, president, Americas for the Operations Group at TOTO USA and chairman of TOTO. Entitled “Shipping Trends for Global Supply Chains,” this keynote will examine trends and issues in the global supply chain from a shipper’s and carrier’s perspective. Attendees will gain insight into future global supply chain issues and trends, advanced manufacturing customer needs and technology applications. West will discuss Delta’s role in global commerce and his perspective on future challenges and technologies essential to competitiveness from the carrier’s viewpoint. Strang will examine the supply chain challenges and opportunities faced by advanced manufacturing companies that ship product globally. The keynote is presented by the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Supply Chain Leadership Council. 

Tuesday morning, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. in the Georgia World Congress Center Hall B’s room B312-314, businessman Lee Scott, Walmart’s president and CEO from 2000 to 2009, will detail how to build a logistics and supply chain organization that is a market differentiator. As the company’s third-ever CEO—following Sam Walton and David Glass—Scott reinvigorated Walmart’s mission, transforming it into a respected corporate leader on many of the major issues facing today’s global businesses.

Widely regarded as the builder of the best supply chain in retail, Scott will share what it takes to match supply chain performance to a company’s needs: hire the right people and give them the right experiences. During his tenure, the company emerged as the world’s largest retailer with more than 2.1 million associates and 7,390 retail operations in 16 markets around the world. The company earned the Fortune No. 1 spot six times between 1998 and 2008 and had sales of more than $405 billion in 2009.

Battle-tested in the war to deliver products to consumers at the lowest prices, Scott will offer tips on how to cope with today’s rapid rate of change in an increasingly complex world. 

On Wednesday, the final keynote presentation unveils the key findings of the annual MHI Industry Report, conducted in partnership with Deloitte Consulting. The “Preview of the MHI Industry Report—Trends Driving Supply Chain Innovations” will be presented by George Prest, CEO of MHI, and Scott Sopher of Deloitte from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. in the Georgia World Congress Center Hall B’s room B312-314. The extensive report on supply chain and materials handling trends and technologies draws upon a series of surveys conducted in January. Both MHI members and supply chain end users were asked to verify and rank what each group expects to focus on in the next two to three years. Among the topics explored in the study:

• Supply chain analytics and the tools and techniques companies are using to track performance and identify areas for improvement.

• Mobile supply chains and the use of sensing and data collection technologies across all supply chain areas, including production, inbound and outbound logistics, inventory management and more.

• 3D printing/additive manufacturing technology, its expanded use and its potential impact on manufacturing, logistics and transportation.

• Multi-channel fulfillment and its effect on distribution strategies as companies strive to provide consistent customer experience and service levels.

One stop: Modex, SCT and Georgia Logistics Summit
Your Modex 2014 registration also grants you access to the first-ever Supply Chain & Transportation USA Exhibition & Conference (SCT). Together, the two events offer access to all the innovative products, services and technologies which bring winning competitiveness to the whole supply chain.

Exhibits are grouped into four solution centers: transportation, logistics, industrial real estate and the future of supply chain, where you can see the latest advances and integrated solutions for transporting goods.

SCT exhibitors can be found in the same hall as Modex exhibitors, to the left of the main entrance to the show. Both shows run concurrently, Monday through Thursday, and share identical hours: Monday through Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. More information about the show is at

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Georgia Logistics Summit’s annual event will be co-located at Modex 2014, upstairs in the Georgia World Congress Center’s Hall B. The event requires separate, paid registration available at

The Georgia Logistics Summit starts at 9:30 a.m. with check-in and registration. And, Tuesday’s morning session includes a panel discussion of international business experts from India, Mexico and Japan who will share insights on partnerships and possibilities in global logistics. The afternoon showcases Georgia’s manufacturing companies, and a keynote panel reviewing the latest economic growth and expansion developments in the state.

On Wednesday, summit attendees will hear updates on the state’s transportation developments in ports, rail, trucking and air cargo. This will be followed by a series of concurrent breakout sessions featuring 15 speakers from private industry discussing imports, exports and domestic logistics. Wednesday’s lunch keynote features Kevin Jones, Walmart’s vice president of inbound transportation. A final series of breakout sessions (from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.) concludes the event, with experts predicting future supply chain developments.

Modex 2014 is scheduled to be held March 17-20, 2014 in Atlanta’s Georgia World Conference Center. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry. Modern’s complete Modex 2014 coverage.

About the Author

Sara Pearson Specter
Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC. Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery.

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