Crowds gather around the Amada booth during FABTECH 2019Click image to enlargeFABTECH has confirmed that its 2021 event will take place with in person attendance.

This will be the first large-scale manufacturing trade show to return to McCormick Place in Chicago, taking place Sept. 13-16.

The event will bring all aspects of the metal fabricating, forming, welding, and finishing industries together to showcase the technology, innovation, and solutions they provide.

 “FABTECH is one of the largest events held at McCormick Place, bringing $73 million delegation spending to Chicago,” said Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA), International. “Our last event in Chicago employed just short of 4,000 workers with over 110,000 hours of work. This contributed $5.3 million dollars of labour 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.”

Attendees will 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. Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan – a framework to guide the reopening of the economy–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.”

Larita Clark, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, says McCormick Place is fully prepared to welcome events back, as it has been granted 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 Clark. “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 of 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.

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