-Highly qualified audience with 50% of registrants holding C-suite or executive-level positions -Registered guests benefit from a continuation of the event on an online platform -Returning to the February timeframe in 2023
Thousands of decision-makers and C-suite executives in the advanced design and manufacturing communities across multiple verticals and industries reconvened at IME West last week, held April 12-14 at the Anaheim Convention Center for three days of in-person meetings, networking, and education. The nation's largest trade show advances the manufacturing industry, which accounts for $2,269 billion of the U.S. GDP according to the NIST Annual Report on U.S. Manufacturing, serving as a springboard for continued innovation and a launchpad for the introduction of groundbreaking technologies.
"We found that, although the attendance was down, the people coming to these shows are looking to purchase equipment."
The show floor is intentionally designed to facilitate cross-vertical collaboration and discovery, featuring the following co-located event brands: Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West, WestPack, Automation Technology Expo (ATX) West, Design & Manufacturing (D&M) West, Plastec West, and CannPack West.
Attendance spiked 63% from the 2021 event, attracting nearly 11,500 highly qualified attendees, with 50% of registrants holding a C-suite level or executive-level position with purchasing power. The pent-up demand for the event's return indicates the industry's recovery following a challenging few years; it underscores the immense power of face-to-face engagement with new and potential industry partners. Notable attending companies include 3M, Abbott, Boeing, Boston Scientific, Edwards Life Sciences, GE Appliances, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Oliver Healthcare Packaging, and Stryker.
Notable medical exhibitors include 3M, B. Braun, Confluent, Teleflex Medical OEM, and Zeus, and among the highly sought-after non-medical exhibiting brands include Canon Virginia, FANUC, GF Machining Solutions, ProMach, and Protolabs.
"We are so happy to be back at tradeshows because we find in-person communication critical in establishing relationships with our customers," said Benjamin Voelcker, GM, Maruho Hatsujyo Innovations (MHI), a prominent exhibitor at IME West. "We found that, although the attendance was down, the people coming to these shows are looking to purchase equipment."
Cole Sheedy, Application Engineer with Motion Ai, another exhibiting company, added, "IME West provided Motion Ai with great exposure to new people, ideas, and technology. My biggest takeaway is that the automation industry is exponentially growing and the only way to keep up is by getting started now. Whether it be small projects improving quality of work or big projects involving robot cells, you don't want to get left behind in today's crazy industrial environment."
Additionally, registered participants had the opportunity to engage with 145 expert-led sessions (free and paid) held across the event's three days. Featuring more than 250 speakers and nine curated tracks, the breadth of technical and forward-looking content offered at the Design.Engineer.Build. Conference enabled attendees to tune into education that aligns with their unique roles and responsibilities and learn new skills and solutions from world-renowned experts. Distinguished and well-attended content includes:
SPE's Medical Plastics Division saw incredibly strong attendance in their one-day program "MiniTec," which returned to IME West for the second annual year. AAMI hosted a full-day track of content that drilled down into quality topics for medical device engineers. Chemical Angel Network hosted its first full day track titled "Investment Showcase: Medical Devices, IVDs, and Wearables," which connected startups and investors. MedtechWomen hosted a panel discussion on Innovation Medical Device Development for Market Segments, followed by a reception to encourage further exploration of the topic. In addition to paid content, registered participants benefited from free education at Center Stage, the Tech Theater, and Design Alley.
New for the 2022 edition included a Day 1 and Day 2 keynote address. Renowned experts from Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, CESMII, MESA International, MxD, America Makes, DeviceAlliance, and Sonendo addressed the IME community, imparting highly sought-after insights on manufacturing workforce gaps and how manufacturers can rebuild the broken global supply chain.
IME West transitioned to a Smart Event format for the 2022 edition that augments the on-site experience. The digital resource, open four weeks before and four weeks after the live event, provides registered attendees the opportunity to sift through exhibitors and discover new products, set up meetings in advance of the in-person event, engage in content at a convenient time, and hold follow up meetings with leads.
The online platform hosts more than 11,120 active users and has facilitated nearly 15,000 connections thus far. "Our introduction of an online element to complement the traditional in-person event has been well-received by the IME West community - we're seeing our attendees and exhibitors using the platform to discover and meet with existing and potential new partners," remarked Adrienne Zepeda, Group Event Director, IME West. "The fact that nearly 12,000 messages have been exchanged online is remarkable - and the online platform remains open for another few weeks - reinforcing the importance of digital and live as a dual package to deliver the most productive event experience for our community."
Ample networking opportunities were offered, including a Welcome Reception held in the Grand Plaza, providing guests hours of food, cocktails, and conversation, plus a live performance from 80s rock band World Tour Legends of Rock, sponsored by West-Tech Materials and MTD Micro Molding. Closing Day 2, Brentwood Industries, Inc., CPC-Colder Products Company, Amcor, ABX Innovative Packaging Solutions, Resonetics, Flex, Evco Plastics, and igus® Inc. hosted the second annual Beer Garden Happy Hour, convening the IME West community for sunshine, drinks, games, and networking.
Battle of the Brick Bots, an exciting addition for the 2022 edition hosted by master builder Bryan Firks, put brick-building skills to the test as competitors designed and constructed robots with moveable parts, featuring LEGO® Technic and LEGO® Powered Up motors. The team behind the winning bot "Mr. Plow" rose above five other teams comprised of attendees and exhibitors to take home a Formula E® Porsche 99X Lego® Technic™ set and bragging rights for the rest of the year.
Zepeda continued, "We're still reeling from the energy and electricity felt on the show floor and in conference rooms all three days. Everyone's response to the robust expo hall and the lively conversation at each networking reception truly indicates this industry's reliance on trade shows to move business forward. We look forward to reuniting the community at our original February timeframe in 2023."
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About Informa Markets - Engineering:
Informa Markets' Engineering portfolio is the leading B2B event producer, publisher, and digital media business for the world's $3-trillion advanced, technology-based manufacturing industry. Our print and electronic products deliver trusted information to the engineering market and leverage our proprietary 1.3-million-name database to connect suppliers with buyers and purchase influencers. We produce more than 50 events and conferences in a dozen countries, connecting manufacturing professionals from around the globe. The Engineering portfolio is organized by Informa, the world's leading exhibitions organizer that brings a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit www.informamarkets.com.
About Informa Markets
Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. Our portfolio is comprised of more than 550 international B2B events and brands in markets including Engineering, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Infrastructure, Construction & Real Estate, Fashion & Apparel, Hospitality, Food & Beverage, and Health & Nutrition, among others. We provide customers and partners around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, specialist digital content and actionable data solutions. As the world's leading exhibitions organizer, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit www.informamarkets.com.