Chicago, IL — April 30, 2001 — Final figures released today reveal that 45,741 people attended the 11th annual National Manufacturing Week (NMW) trade show in Chicago, March 5-8, 2001.
The umbrella event, a showcase for products, services and technologies that support and integrate the entire manufacturing process, drew 1,889 exhibitors in nearly 573,000 sq ft of space.
“NMW 2001 truly weathered the storm. In the face of adverse economic and weather conditions, nearly 13,500 companies worldwide sent buyers to this event to discover all the new possibilities for integrating process improvements throughout their businesses, ” said Ron Mathews, event director for the show.
John Stossel, ABC News correspondent and 20/20 television show anchor, encouraged a record-breaking crowd of nearly 600 manufacturers to stand up U.S. government regulations that guard public safety but stifle a free market. He encouraged the audience to complain.
This year, the NMW conference was condensed to two days from three: It meant show visitors weren’t forced to choose between browsing the exhibition floor and enrolling in professional development courses. Comprising six tracks, sessions focussed on specific industry sectors.
On the show floor, the driver of the Graybar-sponsored White Lightening II and holder of the world’s land-speed record of 245.5 mph, Pat Rummerfield, greeted visitors at Graybar’s booth in NMW’s National Plant Engineering MRO & Management area.
Rummerfield’s achievements are all the greater given he is the only fully functional quadriplegic in recorded history. The survivor of an automobile accident in 1974, Rummerfield is unable to feel his feet but has nonetheless retained his ability to walk.
As well, NASCAR drivers Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle greeted and signed autographs at the Grainger booth in the MRO show section.
Visitors to NASA’s Starship 2040 exhibit, in the National Design Engineering area, were invited to walk through a multimedia prototype of a passenger space shuttle slated for use 40 years from now.
Next year, the event takes place March 18-21, 2002, again at McCormick Place Complex in Chicago. For details, visit www.manufacturingweek.com.