Gather, learn, and connect at FABTECH 2013

Reasons aplenty to check out North America’s largest metalworking tradeshow in Chicago

Practical Welding Today September/October 2013
October 7, 2013
By: Amanda Carlson

Show attendees can expect 360 degrees of technology, education, and networking.

Gather, learn, and connect at FABTECH 2013 -

Show co-organizers expect nearly 35,000 manufacturing professionals to attend FABTECH 2013 in Chicago this fall.

Chicago may be the third-largest city in the U.S., and carry the nickname of Second City, but later this year it will host the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing industry tradeshow in North America. FABTECH® 2013 is shaping up for its biggest show ever. More than 1,300 exhibitors will span 600,000+ square feet at Chicago’s McCormick Place Nov. 18-21, giving visitors a 360-degree view of the full gamut of metal processes under one roof. Approximately 35,000 attendees are expected to converge on the four-day tradeshow.

The show is co-organized by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), American Welding Society (AWS), Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and Chemical Coaters Association Intl. (CCAI). It consolidates opportunities for metal fabricators to peruse the latest advances in metalworking tools and technology; network with other manufacturing professionals; and learn during educational conferences, roundtables, and forums.


There is no cost to attend FABTECH when you register by Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Registration beginning Nov. 16 and on-site costs $50. Admission is free for all FMA, SME, PMA, AWS, and CCAI members.

Three methods make registration convenient and easy:

  • Online. Visit Click Register to Attend, and follow the links provided.
  • Fax. Fill out the registration form (found at and fax it to 508-743-9696.
  • Snail Mail. Send a completed registration form to FABTECH 2013 c/o Convention Data Services, 107 Waterhouse Road, Bourne, MA 02532.


FABTECH isn’t just about buying new equipment. It’s also about investing in education, whether it is for yourself or for your staff. More than 100 educational sessions will be held simultaneously with the show, including 64 new courses that have never been offered at previous FABTECH shows. Two new learning tracks this year are Job Shop Solutions and Automation & Robotics, and new workshops that address lean manufacturing, workforce development, and press brake operation highlight recent additions.

Sessions are geared toward manufacturing professionals with a variety of skill sets and experience levels—from those new to the industry to those seeking a refresher course or more in-depth training.


Aside from a multitude of educational opportunities and the aisles upon aisles of metal fabricating technology, the show also offers a host of special events that will keep you engaged and entertained during your visit. All of the following special events are free and open to all registered attendees. For complete and up-to-date information, please visit

Keynote Presentation: Navigating the Fiscal Reality

Monday, Nov. 18

9 – 10 a.m.

Gather, learn, and connect at FABTECH 2013 -

Attendees will get an opportunity to browse metalworking equipment—from hand tools to laser cutting machines—from 1,500 exhibitors.

Grand Ballroom (S100)

Keynote speaker Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics, will speak about what is really going on in the U.S. and in markets that affect the metal fabricating industry and provide the economic outlook for the global economy.

Professional Welders Competition

Monday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Winners announced on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 11 a.m.

North Hall, Booth N2299

Watch as pro welders compete for a $2,500 first prize, a $1,000 second prize, and a $500 third prize. Contestants will make a single-pass SMAW bead with E7018 on low-carbon steel and will be judged on speed and quality. Welders interested in participating can sign up on-site.

A robotic welding contest and a student welding fabrication contest will run simultaneously in the North Hall.

Happy Hour

Tuesday, Nov. 19

3 – 5 p.m.

North and South Halls

Network, socialize, and relax on the show floor with industry peers while perusing technology in exhibitor booths. Attendees will receive a complimentary beverage ticket with event registration.

Cocktails and Comedy

Wednesday, Nov. 20

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Doors open at 4:45 p.m.

Unwind after show hours with a drink and a few laughs courtesy of a veteran group of Chicago’s elite short-form improvisers who have performed at ComedySportz Theater, Second City, and the Improvised Shakespeare Company. Registered attendees receive complimentary admission and beverage ticket.


Stay current on the latest show news and interact with other people in the metal fabrication industry by connecting yourself to FABTECH via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. These social media sites work in concert with the official FABTECH website to keep you well-informed before, during, and after the show. Be sure to download the free official FABTECH mobile app for your iPad, tablet, or smartphone.

If the social media bug hasn’t bitten you, check out the FABTECH blog, which features content about the show, the general manufacturing climate, economic trends, and other issues that concern manufacturers and metal fabricators.

Quick Facts

Show Days/Dates

Monday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Amanda Carlson

Amanda Carlson

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8260

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