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ProMatDX Preview: Power Up for a Digital Trade Show Experience

April 9, 2021
MHI pivots the ProMat exhibition to a virtual showcase of material handling and logistics solutions.

For decades, the ProMat show, held every other year in Chicago’s sprawling McCormick Place exhibition center, was the place to go to see the latest and greatest in material handling equipment and solutions. In 2021, though, thanks to the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant limitations on business travel this spring, the MHI (host organization of ProMat) has opted for the next best thing: If attendees won’t be able to make it to ProMat in person, then MHI will bring it straight to them.

That’s the idea, anyways, behind the newly-rechristened ProMatDX (for digital experience), a virtual event that will be held online April 12-16, 2021 (register to attend at While the previous, in-person ProMat 2019 featured over 1,000 exhibitors, ProMatDX will feature over 400 product showcases that include live chats and digital product demonstrations. It will also include more than 100 digital seminars on emerging technologies such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation.

In lieu of the usual in-person keynote presentations, ProMatDX will instead feature four panel discussions:

Transformation in Action: Introducing The 2021 MHI Innovation Award Winners. Moderator: John Paxton, CEO, MHI.

Beyond COVID-19: Building Supply Chain Resilience Is the Key To Recovery and Preparing for Future Disruption. Panelists: Rick McDonald, senior vice president and chief product supply officer, Clorox; Carmela Hinderaker, senior director of business continuity & customer support, C&S Wholesale Grocers; David Lusk, director, FedEx Global Security Operations Center at FedEx Services. Moderator: Kathy Fulton, executive director, American Logistics Aid Network.

Innovation Driven Resilience: How technology helps supply chains respond, recover and thrive even amid disruption. Panelists: Randy V. Bradley, associate professor of information systems and supply chain management, Haslam College of Business, The University of Tennessee; Annette Danek-Akey, executive vice president, supply chain, Penguin Random House. Moderators: Thomas Boykin, supply chain specialist leader, Deloitte; John Paxton, CEO, MHI.

Women in Supply Chain: Delivering Proven Success Strategies. Panelists: Megan Smith, CEO, Symbia Logistics; Erin Donnelly, director, supply chain development, The Home Depot; Chaneta Sullivan, Esq, director, safety, quality & compliance, Chick-fil-A Supply. Moderator: Sheila Benny, president, Optricity.

As we’ve done since the very first National Material Handling Show (the predecessor to ProMat) was held in Cleveland in 1948, MH&L will cover major product announcements from ProMatDX. Stay tuned.

About the Author

Dave Blanchard | Senior Director of Content

During his career Dave Blanchard has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeek, EHS Today, Material Handling & Logistics, Logistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. He also serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.