ROSEMONT, IL-Both organizers and exhibitors at this year's National Manufacturing Week are applauding what they say was a strong trade show and conference, with plenty of commercial activity.

Traditionally located at the McCormick Place tradeshow center in downtown Chicago, this year's show took place at the Donald E. Stephens convention center, located immediately adjacent to Chicago's O'Hare airport-move that seemed to suit both exhibitors and attendees.

In all, nearly 1,000 suppliers were on hand, exhibiting everything from software systems to motors, automated systems and real estate opportunities. A third-party audit of show attendance is still in the works. However, show organizer Reed Exhibitions (Norwalk, CT) says it expects numbers were up substantially from 2004.

"National Manufacturing Week 2006 far exceeded our expectations," says Kel Marsden-Kish, Reed vice president for National Manufacturing Week. "[Attendees] were very positive about the new location."

"The show has been very good for us. We've had steady traffic, our presentations were always full, and we had lots of interest," agreed Rainer Gawlick, vice president of worldwide marketing at software company SolidWorks Corp. (Concord, MA). "We've met lots of new customers. It definitely exceeded our expectations. It's also been great to see existing users of our products."

This year's professional conference featured speakers such as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez; former Health and Human Services Secretary, and current chairman of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Tommy Thompson; and Jim Owens, CEO of Caterpillar Inc. (Peoria, IL).

Co-located shows at this year's National Manufacturing Week included the 56th National Design Engineering Show; The National Industrial Automation Show and Conference; The National Enterprise IT Show and Conference; and The 58th National Plant Engineering and Maintenance Show and Conference.

Other upcoming Reed shows include the Assembly East and Nepcon East-Electro trade show, set for May 10-11 in Boston; and Assembly Technology Expo (ATExpo), set for Sept. 26-28 at the Donald E. Stephens center in Rosemont. For more information on ATExpo, visit For more on Assembly East, visit Reed is also organizing its first China-based trade show, ATE China, set for Aug. 29-31 at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center, in Shenzhen, China. For more information, visit

ASSEMBLY Magazine is a sponsor for all three shows and will be publishing an inaugural Chinese language edition to coincide with ATE China.