Handy IMTS Tips
Mindy Mikami 08.31.2016
Even though I’ve been to IMTS five times so far, at Okuma America I’m considered an IMTS Newbie, relatively speaking. I’m by no means the winner of Okuma’s “Most IMTSes Attended” award. That meritorious distinction goes to Ken Buechele, who’s been with Okuma since 1986 and has attended 16 shows. However, even my newbie attendance record has given me a bevy of enriching experiences, of the good, the bad and the “lessons learned” variety. Here are some handy tips to help you make the most of your IMTS 2016 experience.
Avoid the Long Bus and Taxi Lines
There’s nothing worse at the end of your looong day on the IMTS show floor than seeing that looooong line for the taxis and hotel shuttle buses awaiting you. But there are ways around this, and I intend to use them! There are some new options available for 2016, including special pick-up locations for Uber, Lyft and Chicab, and a new CTA Green Line train that’s just a couple minutes’ walk from McCormick Place.
Yes! There’s an App
As Okuma’s Web Manager I get to work on this website and the Okuma App Store site everyday, so of course I geek out about apps. There are apps that help you use plain old public transportation like city buses, and the great benefit here is there’s usually not a line. You can buy a pass for whatever timeframe you like, and there are great resources for accurate schedule information like the Chicago Transit Authority mobile website or you can download the Transit App (pictured above) for real-time bus schedule tracking.
Get 50% Off On Conferences
Learning about new machine tool technology is the name of the game at IMTS, and the TRAM Conferences are a great place to dive into some educational topics. A great one to consider is on Wednesday 9/14 when Okuma’s Wade Anderson will co-present with Robert Mudge on “Using Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing to Multiply Productivity.” If you want to attend, use Okuma’s code VIP50 and get a 50% discount!
Out to Dinner
Chicago is such an awesome food town, you really can’t go wrong anywhere in the city. But, you’ll need to have reservations, so make them NOW, if you haven’t already. Open Table is a reliable resource that makes sure your reservation is in place when you get there, plus you can look up what’s available based on date, time, and style of cuisine. Here are some of my fave restaurants in Chicago:
- Gibson’s is one of my top picks, but might be tough to get in at this point.
- If steak’s on your mind, Weber Grill is another great option.
- Our Okuma folks love Gino’s East for Chicago-style pizza.
- More pizza and Italian…Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s.
- At IMTS 2014 our rep from Gardner Media took us to a place called Spiaggia and it was so good, I took my husband there later that same week!
- I asked our Okuma experts…and the best place to get authentic Japanese cuisine is Cocoro. They know best on that one.
Map Your Route
IMTS is so huge in terms of floor space, you can wear yourself out if you don’t have an organized plan for the sequence of booths you’re visiting. (Our Okuma booth is an exception–at S-8500 we’re right at the front of the South Hall so it’s right in the center of the action.) So I strongly recommend using an app called MyShow Planner which combines planning and logistics into one easy-to-use tool.
This one might be quite obvious but bears repeating – wear comfortable shoes! If you’re going to be there for more than one day, bring 2 shoe options just to be sure. If you have new shoes, you should be breaking them in NOW. And if you’re planning to carry anything around with you, consider a backpack to keep your arms free and ready for all those friendly handshakes.
Plan Your Downtime
IMTS is quite a physical experience, so make sure to plan some downtime to recuperate. Some booths have small seating areas, like the area at Okuma’s next to the OSP control demo area. Stop by, learn a little bit about our control, and have a seat and a beverage. Also, right across the aisle from our booth is a charging station in case your devices need some sustenance.
As for me, my shoes are broken in, my shipments have already arrived in Chicago (somewhere!) and I can’t wait to see you all at IMTS! Got any tips to share? Let us know in the comments.
Mindy Mikami is Web Manager, Okuma America Corporation.