The MHI trade group is expanding its MODEX trade show to include a new focus on partnerships with European firms, logistics outside the DC, and educational programs, the group said Monday.
Instead of acting as a standalone logistics exhibition, the next MODEX will open its curtains alongside a new event to be called the International Transportation & Logistics Americas (TLA) conference, organized by two European conference-hosting firms that will bring a more international crowd of attendees. The combined shows will run April 9-12, 2018 in Atlanta.
The move could allow MHI to extend its industry influence beyond its roots in domestic warehouse logistics and enlist exhibitors from European markets, attract more senior supply chain attendees, and offer an expanded range of educational programs.
Until now, the trade group Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) has been the primary supplier of supply chain exhibitions focused on education and career development, but MHI CEO George Prest denied that MHI's move would encroach on that market area. "We want to collaborate with CSCMP, WERC, and other industry groups," Prest said Monday at the MHI conference in Tucson. "CSCMP is an individual professional-development organization, but we have an educational component that merges with the rest of the show."
MHI will organize the hybrid shows through a new partnership with two European exhibition-hosting groups: the London-based ITE Group PLC, host of the Breakbulk trade shows, and Germany's Messe Munchen GmbH, known for its transport logistics exhibitions.
The two shows are designed to complement each other; Modex is focused on material handling equipment, while exhibitors at the new TLA show are expected to include carriers on ocean, road, rail, and air, as well as third-party logistics providers (3PLs), freight forwarders, ports, and terminals, said Laurent Noel, industry director of ITE. Together, the two shows could host a total of some 30,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors, Noel said.
MHI founded MODEX in 2012 to create an alternative to the group's ProMat conference and its focus on warehouse logistics. In contrast, MODEX was intended to focus on a broader flow of materials through the supply chain, including transportation logistics, ports, and railroads, Prest said.
Despite MODEX's expanded profile, MHI will continue holding the event on a biannual schedule, with no plans to make it an annual conference, Prest said. "ProMat is also growing; I think it would be a mistake to confuse the brands."