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Home / Fabtech Announces Plans to Return to Chicago’s McCormick Place in September 2021

Fabtech Announces Plans to Return to Chicago’s McCormick Place in September 2021

After in-person events came to a halt due to the pandemic, the large-scale manufacturing trade show Fabtech will return to McCormick Place in Chicago, September 13-16.

Posted: June 17, 2021

Chicago will once again be the center of the North American metal fabrication industry with the return of Fabtech.

Fabtech’s announcement about returning to Chicago comes as Illinois moves into its final reopening phase.

Fabtech brings all aspects of the metal fabricating, forming, welding, and finishing industries together to showcase the technology, innovation, and solutions they provide. The trade show’s five event partners are the American Welding Society, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Precision Metalforming Association, and the Chemical Coaters Association International.

Fabtech’s economic impact is important to the industries it serves and at the state and local levels. “Fabtech is one of the largest events held at McCormick Place, bringing $73 million delegation spending to Chicago,” says Ed Youdell, president and CEO of Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International. “Our last event in Chicago employed just short of 4,000 laborers with over 110,000 hours of work. This contributed $5.3 million dollars of labor 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.”

Fabtech 2021 attendees will have the opportunity to 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 well-being of our residents and visitors alike,” says Governor J.B. Pritzker. “McCormick Place has been an incredible partner to the state and city in shaping safe in-person event plans.”

Fabtech has coordinated within state and local public health guidelines to develop a plan for return and anticipates more than 30,000 convention-goers this fall.

“We are proud to welcome Fabtech back to McCormick Place, one of many conventions making plans for Illinois this year as a result of our reopening,” says Sylvia Garcia, acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Fabtech is one of over 120 conventions planning to return to McCormick Place as a result of Illinois recently advancing to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, a framework to guide the reopening of the economy. The plan 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,” says 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.”

McCormick Place is prepared and ready to welcome events back. As one of North America’s largest convention centers, the entire McCormick Place Campus holds GBAC STAR™ accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council®. The accreditation is a 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,” says Larita Clark, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. “We greatly value our long-standing partnership with Fabtech and their shared commitment to ensuring a safe experience for their attendees.”

“Chicago is well known for its manufacturing ecosystem and strong transportation, distribution and logistics infrastructure,” says Michael Fassnacht, president and CEO, World Business Chicago, and CMO, City of Chicago. “On behalf of the business community, congratulations to Fabtech for being the first large-scale show to return to our world-renowned convention circuit.”

“We are thrilled to return to the show floor and confident in our ability to execute a safe event for our exhibitors and attendees,” says Steve Prahalis, COO, SME.

Registration for Fabtech 2021 is open now. Visit to register and to obtain additional show details.

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