OT-Tips for IMTS first timer
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Alabama
    Posts
    246
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    181
    Likes (Received)
    121

    Default OT-Tips for IMTS first timer

    I am heading to IMTS for the first time this year. Any tips from the regulars as far as things to see, areas to avoid, places to eat appreciated.
    How do you decide how you spend your time at the show? Should I use the IMTS planner to schedule time with vendors, or wing it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,131
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    356
    Likes (Received)
    685

    Default

    Be prepared to spend a fortune wherever it is you choose to eat. Wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing a great deal of walking. You can save yourself a bunch of hassle if you let the vendors you are interested in swipe your card. They will mail you any information instead of you having to pack catalogues and brochures around, although they may sell that information to others. It truly is sensory overload, so be prepared.

  3. Likes pmack liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Illinois
    Posts
    143
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    42
    Likes (Received)
    43

    Default

    There are buses that run between the cheaper parking lots and the building. I don't recall having to pay for it last time.

    Plan multiple days if you are interested in taking detailed looks at anything. Plan out what vendors you would like to visit,check the map to see where they are. Try to get to them as you can and then start letting yourself get distracted by other cool stuff.

  5. Likes pmack liked this post
  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Country
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Posts
    359
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
    You can save yourself a bunch of hassle if you let the vendors you are interested in swipe your card. They will mail you any information instead of you having to pack catalogues and brochures around, although they may sell that information to others.
    As a preparatory function I always set up a phony name and address. Later on keep what you want and shitcan that "person". They are then free to send their irrelevant crap to a trashbox in the desert.

    Sorry, they deserve it.

  7. Likes pmack, Gobo liked this post
  8. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    6,797
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    368
    Likes (Received)
    2966

    Default

    I don't remember the ap name, but there is a very good ap for your phone to get around Chicago. It tells you which bus to take, about how long to the next stop, etc. If you do ride the bus, it doesn't stop at McCormick place, but a couple of blocks west.

  9. Likes pmack liked this post
  10. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    908
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    108
    Likes (Received)
    257

    Default

    Google Maps did an excellent job of navigating the public transit when we were there this year for visiting, it wasn't that good at last IMTS I don't think.

    Wear good shoes.

  11. Likes pmack liked this post
  12. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    403
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    144
    Likes (Received)
    209

    Default

    Congrats! Great time ahead! Come see me at the Yamazen booth in the South hall. I hope you plan on being there at least 2 or 3 days. There is so much to take in. For eats I always have to have Lou Malnati's deep dish sausage pizza. Vienna Beef Chicago dogs are good too.

  13. Likes pmack liked this post
  14. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tennessee USA
    Posts
    552
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    185
    Likes (Received)
    318

    Default

    It would do you well to do a little homework before you go. While others have made some very good suggestions (comfortable shoes are a must) I'd like to suggest another aspect. If you plan to explore the city beyond McCormick Place, lots to see and do, there are areas you need to be mindful of. Search for the most current crime area reports on the internet, the neighborhoods can change every couple of years. While many dangerous areas have been gentrified (Logan Square, Lake & Halsted, etc) and many are ok during the day (Chinatown, Lakefront) it's probably best to not be there after dark when the crowds leave. As a general rule if there's crowds there's less chance of trouble, although crowds also draw pickpockets so safeguard your valuables. I lived/worked/frequented many of these areas while living in Chicago for 20 years. The face of many neighborhoods may have changed in the 10 years I've been gone but the potential for trouble almost anywhere has not. If you know what a bad inner city neighborhood looks like then that should be your guide. Take a map with you that's been highlighted with potential trouble spots. McCormick Place should be safe enough, it's quite the exposition if you've never been to one. Do get some of the food at the restaurants away from the show if you get the chance. The buses, subways, and trains can get you around fairly easy if you get the free maps that are readily available. Enjoy the trip.

  15. Likes pmack liked this post
  16. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    11,133
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    41
    Likes (Received)
    8421

    Default

    That's a relatively safe part of the city. You are near Soldier Field, so there's lots of parking, especially to the North. Most hotels run a shuttle and can give you a ride if you are nearby.

    China town to the West, Greektown to the Northwest. Greektown is my favorite food in the city.

    The actual show depends on what you want to do. I usually go on Saturday and just cruise through the whole thing in about 6 hours. That's enough for me.

    If you are looking at specific machines or have a specific agenda, you can spend a lot of time. You could spend a whole day in the cutting tool section, at least a whole day in the machine section, and there's still the software, automation, fabrication, and specialty stuff like EDM, 3D printing, etc.

  17. Likes pmack liked this post
  18. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    3,754
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2727
    Likes (Received)
    2387

    Default

    Im still on the fence- sitting at the registration page now....

    If I just want to wander around, do I register as a visitor or am I required to register for the conference? There is a small price difference...

    Also- are safety glasses required?

  19. Likes dstryr, pmack liked this post
  20. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilroy CA
    Posts
    4,244
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3059
    Likes (Received)
    2261

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allloutmx View Post
    Im still on the fence- sitting at the registration page now....

    If I just want to wander around, do I register as a visitor or am I required to register for the conference? There is a small price difference...

    Also- are safety glasses required?
    I'm going for the first time... We can grab some beers!

  21. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    3,754
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2727
    Likes (Received)
    2387

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dstryr View Post
    I'm going for the first time... We can grab some beers!
    Okay but Im gnna be pissed if you take advantage of me while Im most vulnerable.

  22. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilroy CA
    Posts
    4,244
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3059
    Likes (Received)
    2261

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allloutmx View Post
    Okay but Im gnna be pissed if you take advantage of me while Im most vulnerable.
    No promises can be made

  23. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    3,754
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2727
    Likes (Received)
    2387

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dstryr View Post
    No promises can be made
    ...drives home from show with 1999 brother tc-s2a

  24. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cottage Grove, MN 55016
    Posts
    6,711
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3608
    Likes (Received)
    3997

    Default

    I am going this time too. 2 years ago I found a great room thru Airbnb. If you stay at a hotel expect to pay 2 to 4 times more then any other place. I paid around $80.00 for a room in a condo about a mile away. Was in a safe remodeled area and condo. The condo owner made dinner and had soda and snacks in the refrig. I parked on the street just down the block. I drove and parked inside McCormick. I think it was around $20.00 a day, but I figured the I could afford it staying where I did. Be prepared to pay $12.00 for a cold crappy hot dog and $8.00 for a beer on a card table inside McCormick, LOL something like that. Go buy some good shoes and wear compression knee high sox.

    I will start the show at the DAPRA Booth North building level 3 - 236246. Biax decided not to have a booth of their own this year. I'm planning on going day 1 - 3. Also be careful at night, take a Taxi if you have to walk more then a few blocks. You will see PanHandlers all over and I don't look at them, because if you do they will hassle you for $$. I carry my wallet in my front pocket and have a fanny pack. Wear casual clothes. Many booths will have shopping bags they pass out to carry your "stuff" Many will have really cool hand outs. I register early otherwise you may get stuck in a long line. It is fun but exhausting. OH and if you play your cards right many of the BIG vendors have cocktail parties after the show. I go and drink coke :-). Food in Chicago is great. If you like the blues music you have to go to the Kingston Minds or Blue Chicago. Loud but fun.

    Oh and as Bill said about your name tag...upgrade your job from Machinist to Management, Engineer or Purchasing or many salesmen will ignore you...lol

  25. Likes pmack liked this post
  26. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Alabama
    Posts
    246
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    181
    Likes (Received)
    121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BROTHERFRANK View Post
    Congrats! Great time ahead! Come see me at the Yamazen booth in the South hall. I hope you plan on being there at least 2 or 3 days. There is so much to take in. For eats I always have to have Lou Malnati's deep dish sausage pizza. Vienna Beef Chicago dogs are good too.
    Yamazen/Brother is definitely a booth I intend to spend some time in.

  27. Likes BROTHERFRANK liked this post
  28. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Alabama
    Posts
    246
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    181
    Likes (Received)
    121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AD Design View Post
    It would do you well to do a little homework before you go. While others have made some very good suggestions (comfortable shoes are a must) I'd like to suggest another aspect. If you plan to explore the city beyond McCormick Place, lots to see and do, there are areas you need to be mindful of. Search for the most current crime area reports on the internet, the neighborhoods can change every couple of years. While many dangerous areas have been gentrified (Logan Square, Lake & Halsted, etc) and many are ok during the day (Chinatown, Lakefront) it's probably best to not be there after dark when the crowds leave. As a general rule if there's crowds there's less chance of trouble, although crowds also draw pickpockets so safeguard your valuables. I lived/worked/frequented many of these areas while living in Chicago for 20 years. The face of many neighborhoods may have changed in the 10 years I've been gone but the potential for trouble almost anywhere has not. If you know what a bad inner city neighborhood looks like then that should be your guide. Take a map with you that's been highlighted with potential trouble spots. McCormick Place should be safe enough, it's quite the exposition if you've never been to one. Do get some of the food at the restaurants away from the show if you get the chance. The buses, subways, and trains can get you around fairly easy if you get the free maps that are readily available. Enjoy the trip.
    I booked the new Marriot Marquis right at Mccormick Place, but I will definitely venture out at night to eat and drink good. The recent rash of shootings in Chicago has me a little on edge, but you can't live life wrapped in bubble wrap in a foam rubber room.

  29. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Alabama
    Posts
    246
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    181
    Likes (Received)
    121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post

    Oh and as Bill said about your name tag...upgrade your job from Machinist to Management, Engineer or Purchasing or many salesmen will ignore you...lol

    Mine will say "President" or "Owner", I don't remember which I put when I registered. Maybe I will downgrade it or swap with one of my employees. I would rather know how a company treats someone when they don't think they have a lot to gain than have a fake butt kissing show.

  30. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Montco, PA
    Posts
    524
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    42
    Likes (Received)
    50

    Default

    I missed one whole hall last IMTS. They moved all the cleaning and finishing stuff downstairs in a hall they never used before.

  31. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Near Seattle
    Posts
    4,445
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2543
    Likes (Received)
    1119

    Default

    I've not been for 2 or maybe 3 shows, but expect there to be 4 halls - north and south right across from each other, and then west which is across a skybridge, and a sort of lower-east down an escalator.

    You care because vendors tend to cluster by function, and sometimes the booths away from the giant Hass/Mazak/DMG boths, often off in the other halls - will be the most interesting - because there will be vendors you've never heard of or at least don't know much about, and likewise products.

  32. Likes pmack liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
2