The Optrel US Blog
Fabtech 2023 is right around the corner, and we’re gearing up for this year’s extended 4-day show at McCormick Place in Chicago.
In this article, we’ll discuss all things Fabtech 2023, from where the show is happening to what you’ll learn and how to make the most of your time there.
Where is Fabtech 2023?
FABTECH, the premier event in North America for metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing, takes place at McCormick Place, Chicago, in the South/North/Lakeside Center Buildings, from September 11-14, 2023. The Chicago show is an expanded program over last year’s show in Atlanta. Fabtech 2023 runs for four days and is set to attract an impressive crowd of around 45,000 attendees and 1,500 exhibitors.
Where is Fabtech 2024?
Next year, Fabtech is scheduled to take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from October 15-17, 2024. The next three years are slated for the following dates and times:
- Chicago, IL: September 8-11, 2025
- Las Vegas, NV: October 21-23, 2026
- Chicago, IL: September 13-16, 2027
Mark your calendar now and be part of the celebration that shapes the future of manufacturing.
Who attends Fabtech?
Often hailed as a “celebration of North American manufacturing,” Fabtech attracts a diverse audience of welders, fabricators and manufacturers. Professionals in aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, defense, mining, utilities, and other sectors attend. The show offers something for everyone, from family-owned shops to Fortune 500 manufacturers.
Over 1,600 exhibitors showcase the latest technology and innovations in metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries. This year’s layout at McCormick Place is as follows:
- Lakeside Center (East Building): Metalform (finishing/tube and pipe)
- North Building: Welding, Welding Automation, Robotics & Industrial Automation (Find us here! Booth 15043)
- South Building: 3D Additive Manufacturing, Forming & Fabrication
Fabtech Expo also has 15 educational tracks, presenting the newest trends and insights in welding technology, advanced fabrication, workforce development, and leadership. Professionals can earn credits and re-certifications for attending these sessions.
Not registered yet? No worries!
Register below and use the promotional code 14637948.
Fabtech 2023 x Optrel: Innovation and New Product Launches
We’ve attended Fabtech for many years. It’s more than an opportunity to showcase our latest innovations, though we enjoy that part immensely. The event makes it possible to talk with a wildly diverse audience of welders and fabricators, from aerospace engineers to shipbuilders and everyone in between. For us, the show is more than a tradition. It reflects our commitment to the industry and brand promise to improve the lives of welders.
From introducing new technologies in welding helmets to setting new standards in respiratory protection, our product launches at Fabtech have become an eagerly awaited event for welders and fabricators. Previous launches include:
At Fabtech 2023, we are thrilled to present three new products, each promising to set new standards in the welding industry. While we can’t divulge all the details, here’s a sneak peak:
- Two new products for specific segments of the industry. You asked, and we listened! These new products encapsulate everything you’ve come to appreciate about optrel—Swiss-made craftsmanship, unparalleled protection and comfort—while also introducing groundbreaking innovations that are set to disrupt the industry.
- The Helix Series expands. This year we’re debuting a Helix welding hood that amps up your respiratory protection game without compromising comfort, quality or technology.
From interactive displays that allow you to weld with our products and hands-on demonstrations, our 2023 Fabtech booth (B15043—jot it down!) is an immersive experience. Whether you’ve used optrel for years or you’re exploring our solutions for the first time, we welcome you to experience the optrel difference customers have come to expect.
An Abbreviated History of Fabtech
Fabtech’s growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. What started in 1981 in Cleveland, Ohio, has become the biggest event in metal forming, welding and finishing. Here’s a brief glimpse into the history of the Fabtech Expo throughout the years.
- 1983: Relocated to Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois, nearly doubling in size
- 1987: Gained national recognition as one of North America’s largest shows
- 1989: Introduced the Tube & Pipe Pavilion
- 1991: Celebrated 10 successful years
- 1997: Outgrew Rosemont and moved to McCormick Place, Chicago
- 1998: Fabtech becomes an annual show
- 2005: Joined forces with the AWS Welding Show
- 2006: Exhibitor growth led to the move to Atlanta, Georgia
- 2008: First Fabtech Mexico show
- 2007: Attendance exceeds 30,000, and the show was honored as one of the Fastest 50 by Tradeshow Week
- 2011: Broke records at McCormick Place, Chicago, with 35,000 attendees from over 80 countries
- 2012: Launched the first Fabtech Canada in Ontario
- 2015: Record attendance at Fabtech Chicago with over 40,000 attendees exhibiting throughout 732,000 square feet
- 2019: The Robotics & Industrial Automation Pavilion debuts
A Partnership of Strength: Leading Industry Associations
FABTECH’s origin and continued success are shaped by the collaboration of leading industry associations, including:
- Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International (FMA)
- SME, Dearborn, Mich.
- American Welding Society, Miami, Fl.
- Precision Metalforming Association, Independence, Ohio
- Chemical Coaters Association, International, Taylor Mill, KY
The Fabtech Expo stands as a living testament to the ever-changing and growing landscape of the industry. From its humble beginnings to its current status as North America’s most authoritative event, Fabtech continues to pave the way for professionals in metalworking.
Why Attend the 2023 Fabtech Expo?
If you’re wondering whether the Fabtech Expo is right for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 reasons you should attend the show.
- Visit us: Obviously, the number one reason to attend Fabtech is to visit our booth and see the latest in Swiss-made welding helmets and respiratory protection! Need a ticket? Register here and use the promotional code 14637948. Then come find us at booth B15043.
- Stay ahead with emerging trends: See what’s new in the exciting world of welding and fabricating. Elevate your business by integrating proven processes with new trends to expand your competitive edge.
- Never stop learning: Attend one of the many workshops and breakout sessions to learn best practices from industry vets and rising stars.
- Network like a pro: Build connections, and meet like-minded professionals and potential business partners…ahem *cough, cough*…booth B15043!
- We want to meet you: Okay, we mentioned this already, but we love meeting customers and those interested in learning about optrel. Did we mention our booth number already? Just checking!
We hope this guide helped you gain a better understanding of the Fabtech Expo. If welding, fabricating and finishing are your thing, you owe it to yourself to get down to McCormick Place in Chicago. Pack your bags. We can’t wait to see you at the show!