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FABTECH Announces Plans to Return to Chicago’s McCormick Place in September

Industry News

FABTECH Announces Plans to Return to Chicago’s McCormick Place in September

After in-person events came to a halt due to the pandemic, FABTECH will be the first large-scale manufacturing trade show to return to McCormick Place in Chicago, September 13-16. This announcement comes as the state of Illinois moves into its final reopening phase. Chicago will once again be the epicenter of the North American metal fabrication industry with the return of FABTECH. The event brings all aspects of the metal fabricating, forming, welding, and finishing industries together to showcase the technology, innovation, and solutions they provide.

The economic impact of FABTECH is important to the industries it serves as well as at the state and local levels. “FABTECH is one of the largest events held at McCormick Place, bringing $73 million delegation spending to Chicago,” said Ed Youdell, President and CEO, Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International. “Our last event in Chicago employed just short of 4,000 laborers with over 110,000 hours of work. This contributed $5.3 million dollars of labor to the overall Chicago workforce. We are looking forward to bringing these jobs back online. In addition, FABTECH will provide an important boost to the hospitality industry, utilizing over 40 hotels as well as many entertainment and restaurant outlets during the 19 days the event brings delegates to Chicago from set up through tear down.”

FABTECH facilitates connections between exhibitors and attendees in order to conduct business, share knowledge, and showcase the most advanced manufacturing equipment and technology in an unparalleled environment. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore three halls filled with cutting-edge technology, new product debuts, and firsthand product demonstrations from over 1,000 exhibitors.

“FABTECH’s return to McCormick Place as its first stop since 2019 is a testament to Illinois’ leadership not only in manufacturing, but in a safe and strong economic reopening that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors alike,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “McCormick Place has been an incredible partner to the state and city in shaping safe in-person event plans, and I want to commend FABTECH, the largest event of its kind on the continent, for their commitment to bringing back this seminal showcase – and the jobs and tourism it creates – for 2021. The State of Illinois is thrilled to welcome FABTECH this September.”

FABTECH has coordinated within state and local public health guidelines to develop a plan for return and anticipates more than 30,000 convention goers this fall. FABTECH is one of over 120 conventions planning to return to McCormick Place’s halls as a result of Illinois recently advancing to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan – a framework to guide the reopening of the economy – which allows all industries to return to full operations without capacity restrictions. Phase 5 is based on progress made toward vaccine administration and allows for the return of all conventions, events, and activities across all industries.

“As we move into the final stretch of our safe reopening strategy, I am thrilled to welcome FABTECH back to our beloved McCormick Place,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This announcement not only comes as great news to our local manufacturing and hospitality industries, but our entire city, which has begun its journey of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Conventions and trade shows like FABTECH are key economic drivers for Chicago and I look forward to welcoming back more of these events in the near future.”

“We are proud to welcome FABTECH back to McCormick Place – one of many conventions making plans for Illinois this year as a result of our reopening,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)’s Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. “As our state is a major hub for advanced manufacturing – FABTECH offers an unparalleled opportunity to showcase hundreds of cutting-edge companies who have contributed to our COVID-19 response and who continue to lead on industry innovations. The return of FABTECH is also great news for our communities – with every convention powering jobs, reigniting tourism and supporting a strong economy.”

“Chicago is well known for its manufacturing ecosystem and strong transportation, distribution and logistics infrastructure,” said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago, and CMO, City of Chicago. “These strengths are deeply rooted and one of the reasons why Chicago is a leading city where businesses can start, accelerate, grow and thrive. On behalf of the business community, congratulations to FABTECH for being the first large-scale show to return to our world-renowned convention circuit.”

McCormick Place is fully prepared and ready to welcome events back. As North America’s largest convention center, the entire McCormick Place Campus holds the Global Biorisk Advisory Council®’s GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for clean and safe facilities.

“From air circulation to cleaning protocols to guest services, the team at McCormick Place has been working tirelessly to ensure that we meet and exceed best practices for health and safety without compromising the event experience,” said Larita Clark, Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. “We greatly value our long-standing partnership with FABTECH and their shared commitment to ensuring a safe experience for their attendees.”

“We are thrilled to return to the show floor and confident in our ability to execute a safe event for our exhibitors and attendees,” said Steve Prahalis, COO, SME. “As the first B2B event to return to Chicago in 2021, we have been working closely with our partners at McCormick Place and are excited to deliver the FABTECH experience our stakeholders have come to know and expect, while following all necessary health and safety guidelines”.

Attendee and media registration for FABTECH 2021 is open now. Visit to register and obtain additional show details.

Established in 1981, FABTECH is North America’s largest collaboration of technology, equipment and knowledge in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries. FABTECH is made possible by its five event partners, all of whom represent the varied and diverse makeup of the manufacturing industry. They include the American Welding Society, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, SME, the Precision Metalforming Association, and the Chemical Coaters Association International. Read more about FABTECH’s event partners here.

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