2016 Trade Show Guide for Industrial Marketers

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the field of manufacturing, you probably know about the benefits of attending trade shows. 

Networking, exposing your brand, scoping out the competition, generating new leads, and attending educational seminars are a handful of the potential ways you can prosper from these events.

If you’re interested in accomplishing any of the goals stated above, we’ve compiled a list of industry-related conferences that may interest you.

The following few, focused specifically on manufacturing and supply chain, caught our attention. 


  • Date: April 4-7, 2016
  • Location: Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA
  • Cost: Free
  • Value: MODEX is ideal for networking with and gaining insight from leaders in the supply chain industry. Approximately 850 providers congregate at this conference each year to showcase their products and offer advice. There will be keynote speeches, an education summit, and over 100 interactive workshops for you to attend. 


  • Date: May 3-5, 2016
  • Location: Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT
  • Cost: Cost is contingent upon when you sign up.
  • Value: Mfg4 is unique in that it’s planned exclusively for the aerospace, defense, and medical industries. The conference focuses on industry-specific solutions and cross-collaboration.

MD&M East

  • Date: June 14-16, 2016
  • Location: Javits Convention Center in New York, NY
  • Cost: Price depends on the level of access you choose and the date by which you register. More details are available online.
  • Value: MD&M East is “the East Coast’s Largest Medical Design & Manufacturing Event.” This conference features 1200 leading suppliers that will showcase cutting-edge technology and answer all of your industry-related questions, covering every aspect of product development and more.


  • Date: August 21-24, 2016
  • Location: Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC
  • Cost: More information will be available when registration is open. Stay tuned!
  • Value: AM3D is where leading technology developers, service providers, product designers and manufacturers convene. It’s an Additive Manufacturing and 3D-printing conference where you’ll exchange knowledge with industry leaders on various aspects of this kind of cutting-edge technology. You’ll acquire a greater understanding of the interdisciplinary applications of additive manufacturing. If you’re in the aerospace, automotive, medical device, or manufacturing industries, you’ll want to attend this event! 


  • Date: September 12-17, 2016
  • Location: McCormick Place in Chicago, IL
  • Cost:  Prices range depending on the size of your group and time of registration. The pricing rubric is available online.
  • Value: This show takes place every other year, so if you don’t attend this year, you’ll have to wait a while for it to come around again. IMTS is an international event that is considered the premier manufacturing technology show in North America. Attendees get a firsthand look at new metalworking machinery. The opportunities to network, access industry leaders, and explore new solutions are unparalleled, which is why IMTS has become so popular.

CSCMP 2016 Annual Conference

  • Date: September 25-28, 2016
  • Location: Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, FL
  • Cost:  Prices range depending on your level of membership in CSCMP. A detailed list is included on the conference site
  • Value: CSCMP actually provides its own Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 2016 Annual Conference. It reinforces the points I made above and is definitely worth a read.

BONUS: Design and Manufacturing Series
There are three of these conferences taking place later this year in various locations along the east coast. By attending any conference in this series, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the technologies and applications that are revolutionizing manufacturing today. You’ll receive insight from expert speakers and leaders within the field, and you’ll be positioned to take advantage of the complimentary offers that will flow throughout the exposition halls.

Design and Manufacturing New England

  • Date: April 13-14, 2016
  • Location: Boston Convention Center in Boston, MA

Design and Manufacturing New York

  • Date: June 14-16, 2016
  • Location: Javits Convention Center in New York, NY

Design and Manufacturing Philadelphia

  • Date: October 5-6, 2016
  • Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA

Oftentimes, the costs associated with attending conferences deter potential visitors from registering. The benefits of these shows, however, far outweigh the expenditures. Furthermore, some of these conferences are free. To miss out on the educational and networking opportunities that await you at MODEX, for example, would be a true blunder.

We hope this list of trade shows — just a sampling of the multitude taking place across the country in 2016 — provides you with an idea of the advantages you’ll inevitably reap just from showing up.

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