FABTECH is Latest Event Cancelled by the Virus

Written by Tim Triplett

The coronavirus has claimed another casualty—the FABTECH trade show. Organizers of the annual event, which showcases the latest and greatest in metal fabricating technology, have cancelled the gathering, which they had hoped to hold in Las Vegas on Nov. 18-20, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

FABTECH is jointly sponsored by SME (formerly the Society of Manufacturing Engineers), the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), the American Welding Society (AWS) and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI).

“We explored every option to find a way to produce this event in 2020,” said Sandra Bouckley, executive director and CEO of SME. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 has created an environment that makes it impossible to hold the event. Our top concern is always the safety of our exhibitors, attendees, speakers, sponsors and employees, along with supplier partners and venue staff. While we didn’t want to have to make this decision, we have found that we have no choice.”

“The metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing industries are vital to manufacturing and to the economy, and FABTECH is proud to serve the companies and professionals of these industries,” said Ed Youdell, FMA president and CEO. “It’s important that FABTECH is executed to a standard worthy of the industry’s expectations. While we looked for viable alternatives, unfortunately we simply do not have a path forward in 2020.”

FABTECH is the premier event for the metal fabricating industry. Since its debut in 1981, FABTECH has grown from a regional trade show into North America’s largest and most authoritative event for metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing. Event partners were quick to reassure the community that they are evaluating other options to serve the industry.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our FABTECH event partners to identify new and enhanced ways—both online and physical—to connect the FABTECH community, share knowledge about the latest industry products and developments, and help companies move their business forward, said Gary Konarska, AWS CEO.

FABTECH will return as a face-to-face event in 2021, with FABTECH Mexico taking place May 4-6 in Monterrey, and FABTECH Chicago taking place Sept. 13-16 at McCormick Place. More than 1,700 exhibiting companies and more than 48,000 attendees are expected to participate in FABTECH Chicago.

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