Machine tool builders team up for new US event
Organizers says event isn’t another trade show but a “unique interactive experience”
North America’s leading machine tool builders have launched a new event being billed as an “experience” combining the best of corporate open houses, customer training sessions, client appreciation events and new product announcements.
The new event is called Interactive Manufacturing Experience (imX) and is slated for September 12-14, 2011, at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, Las Vegas, NV.
imX is being supported by the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). Industry participants in the event include DMG/Mori Seiki, Doosan, Fanuc CNC America, MAG IAS, Makino, Methods Machine Tools, Okuma and Sandvik Coromant.
“The industry came to us and asked us to create a new way for them to engage with their customers, to bring key decision makers together with industry leaders and to create an environment which focuses on meaningful interaction,” says Steve Prahalis, experience manager for imX.
While the event will have a trade show component, it will be just one of several components designed to engage attendees in a manner that trade shows have not been able to do in the past, says Larry Schwartz, president and CEO of Okuma, one of key machine tool builder participants.
“It isn’t about how many machine tools I can put on the floor. We are misusing our technology and we should be thinking about builders and suppliers working together for a common good. Attendees will have the opportunity to go to multiple learning labs and dialogue with specialists…customers are after productivity, improvements and cost reductions and it’s our job to provide the knowledge and the setting to accomplish this task and I believe without a doubt what we will show the industry at imX is something special and unique that I hope will be the beginning of a standard.”
Steve Prahalis says the focus of the event will be on education and include learning labs, keynote presentations, “experience zones”, interactive industry panels and what he describes as a “balanced trade show floor.” It is set up in a way that provides equal access for attendees and for exhibitors and makes “every area of the floor relevant and engaging for buyers.”
The event is an “open architecture” format which will allow other participants to join the event, however a committee will review all applications “based on the merit of the presentation and the merit of involvement. This is a tremendous opportunity for anyone who believes they have a place in this industry to have a place at imX,” says Prahalis.
He adds that the vision and approach is similar to the joint distributor open house event that several distributors in Canada have organized for the past five years.
Okuma’s Larry Schwartz says that the group who started this event in Canada (Elliott Matsuura Canada, EMEC Machine Tools, Ferro Technique and MAG Canada) should be complimented “and I give them a gold star for the effort. They put the competitive issue aside and did what was best for the customers and provided a close proximity for customers to visit different distributors of different builders.”
He adds that imX is different in that the builder brings to the environment “depth and understanding of technology and how to apply it and is able to demonstrate that technology in a format that is more educational and more face to face and allows, in some cases, for customers to deal with the designers and the builders of the specific technology.”
For details, visit the event web site at http://imxevent.com.