SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 24, 2010 - The biggest names in the industry are working together to create a new type of event designed to revitalize U.S. manufacturing. Scheduled for Sept. 12-14, 2011, in Las Vegas, the Interactive Manufacturing Experience (imX) will combine the best features of a corporate open house, customer training seminars, client appreciation programs and new product launch events.
The seeds of imX were formed more than two years ago, when CEOs from the leading machine tool manufacturers began looking for new ways to engage and educate their customers. These CEOs asked the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers to help create a new kind of event that would bring manufacturers together with decision-making buyers in meaningful and informative ways that would help customers find the best solutions for their manufacturing needs.
Since then, top executives from DMG Mori Seiki, Doosan, FANUC CNC America, MAG, Makino, Methods Machine Tools, Okuma America and Sandvik Coromant have been meeting with the two industry associations, conducting extensive research into alternative ideas and working together to create a new business model for industry events.
The result is imX, a more intimate, experiential and efficient event where top U.S. suppliers will demonstrate specific products and solutions to high-level, qualified U.S. buyers. Competing suppliers with similar product lines will be located near each other, so that attendees can easily compare all the options available to meet their needs. Product and technology demos, learning labs and other interactive activities will occur on the show floor within the Experience areas, facilitating productive, peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and networking.
"Traditional tradeshows, where booth locations are chosen by the exhibiting company, require the buyer to focus on one product or one manufacturer at a time, delivering information in a piecemeal format. The attendee has to wander from one end of the show to the other to determine which products would work into a solution for his needs," says Larry Schwartz, president and COO, Okuma America. "We envision that imX, which will group OEMs and their partners, will allow decision makers to see their options in one area, make price and value comparisons and, ultimately, make better decisions."
The emphasis will be on collaboration, not competition.
"Further verification that imX will be a successful event is the camaraderie being displayed by organizations in direct competition with one another on a day-to-day basis. Most of the major builders are engaged in the initial planning stages and are working well together in formulating the foundation of imX," said Tom Dillon, president, DMG Mori Seiki. "And equally as exciting, major industry organizations such as AMTDA and SME are adding their direction and support to ensure this is a successful event."
imX will have a strong focus on education. Learning labs - located right on the show floor - have been designed to allow attendees to increase their knowledge through practical, hands-on demonstrations, see new and existing manufacturing technologies, and hear case studies presented by suppliers and customers who have already applied those manufacturing technology solutions. The emphasis for this event is on creating dialogue - allowing customers to talk about their needs, concerns and challenges, so the industry can fine-tune their products to help them succeed.
"I expect imX to be an industry-changing event," said Don Lane, CEO, Makino. "It is a fresh, new approach, attractive to the host companies as well as customers. We will offer concentrated exposure to breakthrough technology development, help buyers find the business services they need and assist them in setting up and conducting high-level private meetings. imX will deliver measurable ROI, real value from their trip to Vegas."
imX is jointly presented by SME and AMTDA. More Information about imX can be found at imxevent.com .
Join our Twitter group @imxevent to learn details about imX as they unfold.
Founded in 1932, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers  is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motor sports, oil and gas and alternative energy. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
Founded in 1925, the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association  is a trade association dedicated to advancing the marketing of machine tools in the United States through distribution. The 250 machine tool distributor members represent the latest in manufacturing technology and machine tools in the international marketplace. These companies encompass over 80 percent of all distribution sales in the United States and serve as a vital link between builders and end-users of machine tools and related products.