MHIA Explains MODEX Tradeshow in Detail

Following the Material Handling Industry of America's announcement last month that it would launch MODEX 2012, a new tradeshow that focuses on material handling, distribution, and the supply chain, questions swirled about the upcoming changes and benefits for MHIA members and the industry as a whole. Last week, John Nofsinger, CEO of MHIA, and Tom Carbott, vice president of sales and events, spelled out some of the differences between MODEX and its currently established tradeshows, as well as the advantages of its location.

As previously announced, MODEX will take place Feb. 6-9, 2012, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. MHIA plans to hold the show in Atlanta until 2016, and ProMat will continue to stay in Chicago. MHIA also has confirmed that it will retire the NA Show, which was previously held in Cleveland, Ohio, for nearly 20 years. Nofsinger said that it became clear to the MHIA that it needed to expand. "MODEX will begin from the core or heart of traditional MHIA events but build out in ways that we traditionally haven't been able to do in the older models," he added.

One component of the MODEX tradeshow will be the addition of co-located events. "The heart of the event will be a traditional MHIA event," Nofsinger said."What will be different will be things around the edges of the event, just like we are doing [in 2011] at ProMat." Automate 2011 and the Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference will both take place in conjunction with the ProMat 2011 event. "We'll be announcing [MODEX 2012] partnerships as we go forward," he added. "You'll be impressed with it."

MHIA explained that MODEX also differs from ProMat because of its emphasis on the supply chain, in addition to material handling and distribution. These three components are more integrated now than ever before. "This reflects what is happening in manufacturing and distribution today," Nofsinger said, adding that it opens the door for MODEX to meet all of these needs in one exposition. With the ProMat tradeshow serving the Chicago area and MODEX in Atlanta, MHIA said its dual geographic focus will allow suppliers and buyers to reach both the existing and emerging core of manufacturing distribution and supply chain buyers through its tradeshows.

Location changes

Nofsinger said the association sees Atlanta as a prime spot to address the upcoming changes in the U.S. supply chain and product distribution. The catalyst for reshaping trade patterns in the United States is the completion of the Panama Canal expansion, which is slated for 2014. Over the next decade, Nofsinger said that as much as 25 percent of trade could shift from the West Coast once the Panama Canal is complete, as five new terminals in the Gulf and East Coast are currently scheduled to open while only two are planned for the West Coast. "Modex is designed to put you ahead of this supply chain shift," he said.

Additionally, more than 40 percent of manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain in the United States is within 500 miles of Atlanta. Georgia is also home to 11,000 providers of logistics services and warehouse locations for 48 retailers. The Port of Savannah alone moves 20 percent of the East Coast overseas container cargo and has 20 distribution centers for big box retailers including Target, Walmart, IKEA, and Home Depot. MHIA plans to draw these buyers into the MODEX tradeshow.

Space Draw

Carbott noted that the Georgia World Congress Center is a "state-of-the-art, world-class facility to conduct this type of event." MODEX will be located in Building C, which is the largest and newest of the three centers. "It will be an atmosphere that will be flexible, friendly, and affordable," he added.

The space draw for the 2012 MODEX tradeshow will take place Dec. 14, 2010 at the Georgia World Congress Center. MHIA's point system will apply for this tradeshow. It is not required for exhibitors to be MHIA members, but they must be exhibit eligible. Members will receive discounted booth rates. Additionally, the OMNI Hotel has been named as the headquarter hotel for MODEX.