The Insider's Guide to IMTS 2022

what to do at IMTS Chicago

Discover Unmissable Sessions and Must-Hit City Spots for Your Visit

Four years after it last graced our city, IMTS is back in full force, hosting over 1,200 exhibitors across 1.3 million net square feet of show floor. Outside of McCormick Place, the city of Chicago boasts over 7,300 restaurants and around 800 bars. With so much to explore, where do you even start?

Start with our insider’s guide!

Amper is Chicago born and raised, so we’ve put our heads together to help you make the most of both the event and the city. We know you’re already thinking about all the delicious food and stunning sites this city has to offer, so we’ll start there and then get into all the high-value sessions.

IMTS After Dark

Need a place to keep networking, let loose, celebrate, or take a breather? We’ve got you covered. Use this list (curated by the Amper team, your friendly locals!) to find the perfect spot for your post-event needs. (All distances are from McCormick Place.)

Drinks (10- to 20-minute walk)

Dive: Reggies—Great pub grub, live music, and loads of beers. What else could you need?

Sports bar: Fatpour Tap Works—Famous for their “fat” 22 oz beer pours, large draft menu, and more.

Cocktails: Nine BarChinatown’s very own speakeasy hidden inside the Moon Palace Express.

Rooftop: VU Rooftop Bar—Unbeatable city views—and just a few blocks away from McCormick Place!

Brewery: Moody Tongue Brewing—Upscale brewery that offers unique beers paired with oysters and cake.

 

Drinks (10- to 15-minute drive)

Dive: Skylark—Low-key retro spot for great pub fare (mmm, tots) and beer. Bring cash!

Sports bar: Kasey’s Tavern—No-frills sports bar with a claim to fame as the second oldest tavern in the city.

Cocktails: Punch HouseCreative punch cocktails hidden in the basement of Thalia hall.

Rooftop: Cindy’s Rooftop—A classic downtown rooftop with inventive cocktails and sizable plates to share.

Rooftop: Bar Avec—Sweeping skyline views and cocktails with a leisurely, European seaside vibe.

Brewery: Off Color Brewing Taproom—Tons of beer on tap and the Amper team's favorite happy hour spot!

 

Food (5- to 10-minute drive)

Devil Dawgs—Quick, casual bite downtown. Get the Chicago-style hot dog: no ketchup, lots of relish!

MCCB—Expansive menu with something for everyone and portion sizes perfect for groups.

Roots Handmade Pizza—Chicago-style is great, but check out the Quad City-style here: sweet crust, spicy sauce!

312 Fish Market—Hands-down some of the best sushi in Chicago!

Chicago Oyster House—Great spot for seafood and only a short walk from McCormick Place!

Bonus: Want to start your day early? Grab a coffee and breakfast at Little Branch Cafe or take a hike around Northerly Island before heading over to McCormick Place.

The Best of IMTS

5 days. 19 tracks. 269 sessions. Overwhelmed? Don’t worry—we’ve combed through the schedule to make sure you don’t miss anything good! Take a look at our recommendations and add them to your planner for a smooth, enriching experience.

Must-See Sessions

MakingChips Panel Discussions

Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 2:00 p.m. | Grand Concourse Main Stage

We cannot wait for these sessions! Podcast hosts and manufacturing superstars Jim Carr, Nick Goellner, and Jason Zenger will host a different panel of dynamic manufacturing leaders on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (Spoiler: The Wednesday panel includes our own CEO, Akshat Thirani!)

MakingChips Podcast Host Meet & Greet

Monday at 3:00 p.m. | Amper Booth #135685

Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. | Amper Booth #135685

Join us at the Amper booth for a meet & greet with the MakingChips hosts! Be sure to add the booth to your MyShow Planner so you don’t miss out.

Bonus: Take a photo with the MakingChips hosts at the Amper booth! Tag MakingChips and Amper, include #IMTS2022 in your post, and receive a free swag bag.

Keynote Sessions

Job Shops Workshop Day 1 — Where Have They Gone? Is It Us or Is It Them?

Monday at 11:45 a.m. | South Building, Grand Ballroom S100 A&B

Sponsored by our friends at PaperlessParts, this session features leaders in employment, job shops, and education. Get the scoop on why the problem may not be the “disappearing workforce,” but rather outdated approaches that need to be rethought. 

Chris Czarnik, CEO, Career [RE]Search Group
Nicole Wolter, President & CEO, HM Manufacturing
Andrew Crowe, Founder, The New American Manufacturing Renaissance

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Job Shops Workshop Day 1 — Taking the Traditional Job Shop Digital

Monday at 1:40 p.m. | South Building, Grand Ballroom S100 A&B

As digitization and new technology continue to take shape, traditional job shops may be wondering what it takes to join today’s digital industrial revolution. Don’t miss industry peers sharing strategies, successes, and lessons from their own experiences across different tier level suppliers.

Gary Vasilash, Editor-at-Large, Gardner Business Media
Aneesa Muthana, President, CEO & Co-Owner, Pioneer Service Inc.
Scott Volk, Vice President & COO, MetalQuest
Jennifer Herron, CEO & Founder, ACTION ENGINEERING
Peter Doyle, President & CEO, Hirsh Precision Products Inc.

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Women Make Manufacturing Move – Luncheon

Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. | South Building, Grand Ballroom S100 A&B

Want to improve company culture, invigorate your personal brand, and empower the next generation of female leaders and innovators? Get ready for a session brimming with action-ready tips across three talks:

Improving Company Culture
Lisa Block, Chief Revenue Officer, Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies

Creating Scalable Habits to Free Up Your Mind for Problem-Solving and Still Get Your To-Dos Done
Lisa Woodruff, CEO & Founder, Organize 365

Valuing Our Contributions
Jenny Drescher, Founding Partner, Bolder Company Inc.

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Can’t-Miss in Digitization

HANNOVER MESSE USA Conference: Increasing Productivity Through Successful Digital Transformation and Automation

Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. | West Building, W196-A

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Digital Transformation to Become Preferred Supply Chain Partner in Automotive and Other Industries Applying JIT (Just in Time) Production

Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. | North Building, Level 3, Booth #236800

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Can’t-Miss in Hiring and Development

HANNOVER MESSE USA Conference: The Impacts of a Labor Shortage and How to Combat One with Automation

Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. | West Building, W196-A

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The Augmented Worker: Rethinking How We Train and Support the Future Manufacturing Workforce

Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. | North Building, Level 3, Booth #236800

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IMTS Conference: What Labor Crisis? How Collaborative Palletizing Applications Bring Productivity, Ergonomic, and Quality Boosts to Companies of All Size

Thursday at 11:00 a.m. | West Building, W192-A

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Meet Us at IMTS

This show has been four years in the making and we could not be more thrilled to welcome everyone to our wonderful city—and, of course, talk shop for five days. Don’t forget to swing by the Amper booth #135685 to say hi, get some goodies, and chat with our experts. Check out all our IMTS programming here. See you soon!

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