One-stop shopping for western Canadian manufacturers at WMTS
by Dan Ilika
Bi-annual show in Edmonton featured more than 75 new industrial products and services
EDMONTON—There was plenty of new to see and do this year during the Western Manufacturing Technology Show at the Northlands Expo Centre in Edmonton.
From dozens of products launches to a complete rebranding for show producer SME, ‘new’ could have been the theme of the 2013 edition of the three-day showcase of everything manufacturing.
“I would say that new products (are) one of the primary reasons to attend a trade show or exhibit at a trade show,” SME Canada event manager Janine Saperson said of the importance of focusing on the latest technologies at the bi-annual show.
“SME prides itself (on) listening to our exhibitors and listening to our attendees (and) every survey tells (us) unequivocally they’re looking for new products.”
With more than 75 new products and services showcased at WMTS from June 4 to 6—from state-of-the-art drilling machines to new CAM software and everything in between—the best part of the show may be its relative intimacy considering how packed it is with the latest and greatest from the industry.
The blend of large and small machine tool firms together with accessory and service exhibitors all under one roof in Edmonton makes the show a more relaxed setting than mega-shows like the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago while providing one-stop shopping for attendees.
“A lot of our folks tell us they come here looking for a fully-integrated solution,” SME’s director of North American events and industry strategy Debbie Holton said while in Edmonton.
“They want to see how it all works together, so we try to provide them with enough large equipment and machinery under power that they can get an idea of how things are operating, but then also enough of the accessories and services so they can put the whole plan together.”
While WMTS isn’t the only show SME organizes in Canada—the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) in Mississauga, Ont., is only a few months away—its importance ranks highly, as the show gives firms in Western Canada a chance to keep up to speed with the latest technology without traveling across the country.
“There’s a convenience factor to it,” Holton said of the show being held in Edmonton. “It’s right here in the backyard of the folks that need it.”
Saperson shared Holton’s sentiments, noting that the sheer size of Canada makes finding new equipment a daunting task without shows like WMTS.
“If you want to see five new products it could be five days of travel, whereas the opportunity to see it all in one space … and then to (be able to) do the comparative shopping makes this the number one place to go,” she said.
Another component of the show that provided attendees with the newest industry content was the host of education and information sessions put on over the course of the 2013 edition of WMTS.
A number of technical seminars and sessions spread out over the show’s duration gave attendees access to expertise on the latest topics that manufacturers would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, let alone for free.
WMTS may not be the biggest trade show in Canada, but when you add it all up the show packed a whole lot of new onto the show floor—and beyond.
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