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SME Coronavirus Update

March 25, 2020

SME continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its spread in North America, and we are adhering to guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to best protect the well-being of the manufacturing community as well as the communities in which we work and live.

In addition to previously announced event postponements, we have now decided to postpone all scheduled SME events through the end of May 2020. We remain committed to the safety and health of the manufacturing community as well as the communities in which we work and live.

We will continue to assess the COVID-19 situation as it evolves, and will, if necessary, alert you to further changes. Please consult our event schedule here on SME.org for ongoing information, as well updates on alternate programs to provide value to this industry in 2020.

As we have said before, we are grateful to everyone in the SME community for your support. Thank you for all you do for manufacturing, and we wish you safety and health.


March 23, 2020

SME is aware of and is adhering to updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in North America.

In addition to the steps outlined in our March 16 communication, we are now postponing both FABTECH Mexico until May 4-6, 2021, and FABTECH Canada until June 2022. We do so reluctantly but are committed to the safety and health of the manufacturing community as well as the communities in which we work and live.

We continue to work with our partners and the additive manufacturing community to identify and pursue all alternate options to provide value to this industry in 2020, and will keep you posted as our plans come together.

We will continue to assess the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds. If necessary, we will extend or expand these precautions, but at this time we are still assessing options for events beyond Memorial Day in the United States.

As we have said before, we are grateful to everyone in the SME community for your understanding and flexibility during these unprecedented times.


March 16, 2020

SME is aware of and is adhering to updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United States.

In addition to the steps outlined in our March 13 communication, we are now postponing RAPID + TCT until April 2021 at McCormick Place in Chicago. We continued to work with our partners and the additive manufacturing community to identify and pursue all alternate options to present RAPID + TCT in 2020, but given the volatile nature of the pandemic’s length and severity, we recognized that there were no 2020 options that would both work operationally and assure the safety of the additive manufacturing community.

We will continue to assess the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds. If necessary, we will extend or expand these precautions, but at this time we are still assessing options for events beyond April. We will continue to act in the best interest of the manufacturing community and the communities in which we live and work.

We remain grateful to everyone in the SME community for your understanding and flexibility as this situation continues to evolve.


March 13, 2020

SME has been monitoring updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as reports in the media, about the rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In the past few days, COVID-19 has been publicly characterized as a global pandemic by the WHO, and has spread across North America, with cases reported in more than 40 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces. As the situation has rapidly escalated in the past 24 hours, and given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we are focusing now on limiting potential exposure for our employees and stakeholder communities.

We are taking the following steps:

  • While SME will continue to operate and support our customers and partners and our offices will remain open, we are recommending that all non-essential employees work remotely beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3, 2020. Our staff will conduct its business electronically wherever possible.
  • We’ve made the difficult decision to postpone AeroDef 2020 scheduled for March 16-19 in Fort Worth.
  • Decisions on our other events this year will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on CDC guidance and the best available information to us as the event approaches.
  • We are continuing to assess all business travel. Where practical we will reduce travel, but we are not yet implementing a ban.
  • No non-essential visitors will be admitted to our buildings; only visitors essential to running our current operations with whom we cannot meet electronically or telephonically will be admitted.

We will continue to assess the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds, and are prepared to extend or expand these precautions if necessary. It is our fondest hope that things quickly return to normal for the industry we serve, but we will always act in the best interest of our community.

We are proud of the commitment and dedication of the SME staff and our stakeholders. We are grateful to everyone in the SME community for your understanding and flexibility.


March 4, 2020

SME is monitoring COVID-19 as it evolves, paying close attention to the guidance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In line with current CDC guidance, we have determined that all SME business activities will continue as planned. Our member meetings, student programs, fundraisers, conferences and events are all continuing with the same commitment and effort that SME always brings to our work.

SME has served the manufacturing industry for almost 90 years. We connect the people, communities, and technologies of manufacturing, and we care deeply about our global manufacturing community.

We are proud of the unique responsibility we carry, and we embrace it.

Discontinuing or postponing our activities would have a profound impact on the people and the businesses that make up this critical community. We genuinely believe that we have an obligation to proceed responsibly and to continue with our plans that support manufacturing.

What manufacturing needs right now is a calm, reasoned approach – and it’s important for leading organizations to take all necessary precautions but also to contain unnecessary panic over coronavirus.

SME will always act in the best interest of our community.

We recognize that the concern about COVID-19 is real and we take those concerns very seriously. We will continue to closely monitor guidance from the CDC and WHO. If there is any change that impacts any of our activities, we will make the appropriate decisions and communicate them.

If you are interested in resources regarding COVID-19, we suggest monitoring the CDC’s COVID-19 situation summary (updated several times each week), as well as CDC guidance on COVID-19 prevention.