Preparations continue for ProMat 2011

By Modern Materials Handling Staff
February 01, 2010 - MMH Editorial

PROMAT 2011 isn’t scheduled until March of next year, but the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) is already well into the planning process. One of the first planning milestones is the ProMat Exhibit Spacedraw, which was held on Jan. 21.

“This was a very well attended event and got the ball rolling for ProMat 2011,” said Tom Carbott, MHIA vice president of sales and events. “We are excited and encouraged by the level of participation in the spacedraw.”

Another big announcement followed. MHIA and the Automation Technologies Council (ATC) recently said the upcoming ProMat 2011 and The International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show will co-locate. Both exhibitions will be held March 21-24, 2011 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. ATC is the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Automated Imaging Association (AIA), and Motion Control Association (MCA). ProMat 2011 will take place in the South Hall and the International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show will take place in the North Hall.  While they are two separate events, one registration will allow attendees to visit both venues.

The decision to co-locate the two shows was made for several reasons, said John Nofsinger, MHIA’s CEO. “Co-locating the two events will allow manufacturing, distribution and supply chain professionals unparalleled education and networking opportunities as well as exposure to the largest equipment and technology display of any show of its kind in North America. In today’s world of needing to be nimble and innovative, the co-location is a home run for participants and attendees of both events.”

“Robotics, vision and motion control are important components as companies strive to reach their productivity goals,” said Jeffrey Burnstein, president of ATC. “We feel this co-location provides an incredible opportunity for the exhibitors and visitors of each show to meet new prospects and suppliers, see new products, and obtain new knowledge.”

Talks of co-locating the two events had been underway for some time, Carbott told Modern. “We’re very pleased it has come to fruition. Today, the name of the game is value.  Since these events complement each other, they are a good fit and we believe this will add value to both the exhibitors and the attendees.”

The co-located ProMat and International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show will be the largest international event and conference of its kind held in the U.S. More than 825 exhibitors are expected to showcase solutions to tens of thousands of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution professionals from more than 100 countries.


More than 340 companies attended the spacedraw, claiming almost 80% of the available exhibit space and securing their position at ProMat. The in-person participation painted a very positive picture for ProMat 2011 and the industry as a whole. “We are convinced that this is an indication that things are getting better for our industry,” said Carbott. “Some members are already experiencing improvement while others are optimistic that 2011 will show improvement.” This year, the top five picks went to Raymond Corp.; Jervis B. Webb, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daifuku Co.; Kiva Systems; SSI Schaefer; and Yale/Hyster.

While Carbott acknowledges that 2009 was difficult financially, he says, “I see 2010 as a 'plus’ year. We see a very measured recovery with 2011 getting back to where we were in 2008. Participating as an exhibitor at ProMat 2011 will be a great opportunity to get back in front of what we anticipate will be a pretty good recovery.”

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