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The Manufacturing Technology Buying Spree: Notes from IMTS 2012

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Snaking through the protest-clogged streets of downtown Chicago, anticipation for the pending buying-spree at IMTS built up fast. I overheard one company rep discussing strategy with his partner, telling her, "We're not leaving until we retool the whole shop."

Standing in line for the first shuttle to the first day of IMTS 2012 in Chicago last week, all anyone could talk about was attendance.

The news had just broken that pre-sale admission had already exceeded IMTS 2010's total headcount, which led to speculative estimates that as many as 90,000 buyers would be roaming the halls at McCormack Place -- crushing all conservative expectations.

Those guesses were all wrong, of course. By Saturday attendance actually broke the 100,000 mark.

On the bus, this translated into a kind of energy rarely felt since the recession of '08/'09. These 100,000+ attendees were in Chicago to buy. To buy a lot. And they made that clear from the start.

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