IMTS 2020, which had been scheduled to be held in Chicago in September, has been canceled because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The state of Illinois has imposed health and safety requirements for holding conventions, including the availability of a vaccine for COVID-19 or an effective treatment protocol.
The state has said it has a five-phase plan for reopening its economy. The operation of conventions falls in the fifth and final phase.
IMTS takes over all of Chicago's McCormick Place. During the show, the convention facility is jammed with exhibitors and visitors.
“The show has been held uninterrupted for 73 years, but now the global coronavirus health crisis requires the cancellation of what would have been the 34th edition of IMTS for the health and safety of our exhibitors, audiences and local business community,” said Peter R. Eelman, vice president and CXO at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, McLean, Va., which owns and produces IMTS.
Organizers said in a statement that IMTS will offer two digital programs, IMTS Network and IMTS Spark, over the next several months "to assist exhibitors and the manufacturing community."
AMT said the show is committed to returning to McCormick Place as scheduled for its normal rotation, Sept. 13-18, 2022.
Visitors who have registered for IMTS 2020 have the choice to receive a refund on registration or transfer their registration to a tax-deductible donation to Miles For Manufacturing, where proceeds are given to programs that prepare students for careers in manufacturing technology. Exhibitors will receive direct communications from IMTS.
“In the near future, we will launch the IMTS Network and IMTS Spark to provide the IMTS exhibitors and visitors with connections, networking opportunities and technical knowledge,” Eelman said in a statement.
The IMTS Network will live-stream a wide variety of features and human-interest stories from the manufacturing technology sector. IMTS Spark, a new program, will be a digital platform that connects IMTS exhibitors and visitors, will launch in the near future.