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How ProMat can keep your company moving forward

Friday, February 24, 2017

From April 3 to April 6, over 850 solution providers and thousands of attendees will converge on McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America, for ProMat, the largest expo for manufacturing and supply chain professionals in North America. If you plan on being one of these attendees, you’re in for a valuable experience. Year after year, in our experience, ProMat features some of the best educational and networking opportunities available for material handling professionals. At this year’s ProMat, we think that will be truer than ever. Here’s how ProMat can keep your company moving forward in 2017 and beyond.

ProMat always features an incredible lineup of interesting speakers, and this year’s show is no exception. In 2015, ProMat welcomed the likes of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak. In 2017, we’ll see none other than Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Markus Lorenz, and Andrew Winston. Lorenz is a Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group, and Winston is a sustainability expert and author of the book “Green to Gold.” We’re especially excited to hear Magic Johnson’s keynote about knowing your customer and where they’re going. Does your company know how to change and adapt with customers’ evolving wants and needs?

Coming from experience, we highly recommend attending the keynotes and discussing the takeaways with your peers while you network. Keynotes are also a great opportunity to get active on social media and get in touch with other industry professionals who are at the show. We often live tweet the keynotes and are surprised to learn how many of our colleagues are at the same talk.

ProMat is one of the most potent networking opportunities available to us in material handling. With as many attendees and vendors as there are at ProMat, it’s hard not to make new connections on the floor, in the lounge or at MHI Industry Night.

Before heading to ProMat this year, make a list of the people you want to connect with. We like to do this in the form of a simple spreadsheet, but you can use whichever means is easiest for you. Contact your network ahead of time to notify them that you’re coming, and you’ll be more likely to connect with them in the midst of the busy show. Also, make sure to check out some of the organized networking initiatives like these:

Women in the Supply Chain Industry Forum

MHI partners with MHEDA and AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education) to identify challenges women face in the industry and how to pave the path for the next generation of women

MHI Young Professionals Networking Event

MHI Young Professionals Network and PMMI’s Emerging Leaders Network join to provide a networking event where young professionals in material handling, supply chain & packaging industries can meet.

In addition to the four major keynotes, the ProMat show will feature more than 100 show floor seminars. Some of these seminars will come in the form of town hall-style forums discussing relevant topics for the future of material handling and logistics, such as autonomous vehicles and sustainable facilities. When you’re not busy networking or having lunch at the ProMat Bistro, educational seminars are an awesome way to learn things you won’t learn anywhere else.

Before we leave for ProMat, we want to offer a few last minute tips for attendees heading to the show for the first time or those looking to optimize their time there.

  • Take advantage of the free shuttles to and from ProMat
  • Utilize the bag check. You may not think you need it, but it can get tiring walking around all day, and having that backpack on doesn’t help.
  • Head to the Bistro for your meals. It’s an awesome place to network with your peers, and it allows you to reserve tables for blocks of time so you’ll have a place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the show floor.
  • Wear tennis shoes. While they may not go with your suit, athletic shoes make it easier to wheel around the show floor without getting fatigued.

If you’re heading to ProMat this year, we’d love to connect with you! Let us know how your experience at the show goes or if you’re able to put something from this article to use.

Remember, our goal is to help you!

Email WPRP at with questions.