Trailblazer Peter Eelman on how IMTS is Becoming an Ongoing Industry Resource

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is finding success by shifting focus from being viewed as a one-week trade show to becoming the go-to industry resource. To do that, it’s critical to keep lines of communication with exhibitors and attendees open during the months between shows to maintain enthusiasm and interest. Peter Eelman and his team at IMTS understand this very well since they have a two-year show cycle, and he shares some creative insights on becoming that year-round resource by:

  • Utilizing the IMTS-TV online video channel
  • Providing a variety of training tools for exhibitors, both online and off
  • Creating innovation areas throughout the show floor to generate excitement (including the 3D printed car in 2014 which generated lots of media buzz)
  • Building bridges to the next generation with the Smartforce Student Summit

Click the play button below to listen!

About Peter Eelman:

Peter Eelman

Peter Eelman

Peter’s involvement with IMTS started more than 30 years ago, first as an exhibitor and then as a consultant. In 1996, he joined the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), producer of IMTS, to oversee the Exhibitions department, and was promoted to Vice President of Exhibitions & Communications in January 2009.

In addition to his leadership role with IMTS, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Exhibit & Event Marketers Association (E2MA) and the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority Labor Council in Chicago. He’s the show’s key liaison with the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, McCormick Place, and the various vendors, service providers, and trade unions involved in the process. He participated in the recent negotiation that led to historic labor and management reform in Chicago. In addition to IMTS, he’s also prominently involved in international shows which take place in Asia, Europe, South America and elsewhere.

The Trade Show Trailblazer series features trendsetting shows of all sizes representing all types of industries, offering listeners a backstage pass to the secrets of their success.
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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.


  1. By Marlys Arnold

  2. By Marlys Arnold

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