As the countdown to IMTS 2008 enters its final days, it is man ideal time to draft and review your final checklist to maximize your visit and company's investment.
IMTS visitor research shows people spend an average of 1 1/2 days at the show. Come with a clear set of objectives. Make sure your checklist includes meeting the maximum number of exhibitors to learn what's new. The myMap planning tool on IMTS.com is an excellent planning resource to help determine who you need to see and where they are located.
Many of the most successful IMTS attendees understand the importance of teamwork. For example, Forest City Gear's Fred Young, Boyer Machine & Tool's Bill and John Boyer and Cobra Metal Works' Anton Hirsch.
"Just a few weeks prior to the show," Young says, "I sit down with key players and managers at my company to review some essential equipment purchases that would enhance our productivity, expand the range of offerings, and our ability to supply and verify top quality."
This is precisely the approach the others take as well.
Young does his homework and comes to the show armed with questions. He recommends researching technical issues you can explore onsite with technicians and salesmen at the show.
"I look for things that insure rigidity, enhance quality, and are viable equipment," he notes. "I calculate resale value and evaluate the vendor's ability to support the equipment with service and parts. It's also a good idea to ask for a list of people who may have had the machine for awhile to get their opinion."
Every Boyer team member gets an assignment.
"They each explore a particular type of equipment and then identify and compare the show offerings to learn what the best and most profitable equipment investments are for the company," says Bill Boyer.
After spending the day on the show floor, the Boyer team shares their experiences and continues to do so when they return home.
We've received a wealth of excellent visitor comments over the years, but Bill Boyer has a wise, comforting suggestion.
"Bring tennis shoes or something comfortable to prowl the aisles," he recommends when touring more than 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space. "I have a pair of IMTS shoes that are the most important item I pack. My advice is good support and no new shoes for the show. Good socks and a sweater or jacket are also important."
Hirsch says he usually has a strong idea of what he's looking for prior to the show but uses the daily...