Get the scoop on travel, attractions and more in Chicago, home to the IMTS.

If you’re planning to attend the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, you’ll want to plan ahead to make the most of your visit to the Windy City.

IMTS, which runs from Sept. 10–15 at McCormick Place, is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, with more than 2,400 companies exhibiting and more than 115,000 people registered to attend. You can read more about the show here.

Chicago has 2.7 million residents, upwards of 7,500 restaurants, 56 museums and 26 miles of lakefront. The city averages a high of 74 degrees in September and a low of 62 degrees, but temperatures can sometimes drop into the 40s.

Here are a few more things to know before you hit the show.

Getting There

McCormick Place is located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, about 22 miles from O’Hare International Airport and 10 miles from Midway International Airport. Show organizers have arranged for travel discounts through United Airlines.

Attendees will need to make their own arrangements for travel between airports and hotels. Details on options for those flying into Midway are here; find more on travel to and from O’Hare here.

For travel around Chicago, visitors have options that span shuttles or cabs to scooters, bicycles or public transportation.

IMTS has designated Connections Housing as its official housing provider for the show. Attendees booking a room through Connections can get lower rates, and many will be eligible for free shuttle service to and from the convention center. IMTS recommends that attendees book their accommodations early, as rooms in Chicago will likely sell out during the show.

Want to keep up with all the new innovations at this year's show? Bookmark our IMTS 2018 page.


Several events are taking place in conjunction with the show:

  • Miles for Manufacturing at IMTS 2018: On Wednesday, Sept. 12, a 5K run/walk will take place starting at 6:30 a.m. at DuSable Harbor. Registration is $25 for those who sign up before Aug. 18, $30 for registrations until the event, and $35 for same-day registrations. Proceeds from the event benefit middle school, high school and technical college programs that promote careers in manufacturing.
  • #MeetAtIMTS: Also on Wednesday, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at W471 McCormick Place, this event will give attendees the chance to network with entrepreneurs and innovators influencing the next generation of manufacturing.

Out and About

Want to explore the city? Here are a few of Chicago’s main attractions:

  • Navy Pier, located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Near North Side, features more than 50 acres of shops, restaurants, family attractions, green spaces and exhibition facilities. You can ride a Ferris wheel, catch a cruise on the lake or tour Chicago by land, water or air. In September, the pier is open Sunday–Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday–Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Millennium Park features concerts, exhibitions, tours and other events against a backdrop of unique architecture, landscape design and art.
  • The collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the largest and oldest museums in the United States, includes such masterpieces as Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte and Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist. Exhibits include “John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age,” running through Sept. 30, and “Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago,” running through Oct. 28. The museum is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. General admission is $25.
  • Take a walk or bike along the Lakefront Trail (18.5 miles from South Side to Rogers Park) or the Riverwalk (1.9 miles in downtown).

Some destinations reduce their hours after the summer is over, so be sure to check times before you visit.

Choose Chicago, the city’s official visitors organization, has a webpage specifically for the IMTS show. It includes a list of hotels and their rates, including those offering special deals the week of the show. IMTSTV has also created a series of short videos to highlight some of the city’s attractions.

Are you a show veteran? Share your favorite Chicago destinations and tips.

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