The largest business and industrial expo in the Midwest is returning to CenturyLink Center Omaha for its 25th biennial show Sept. 18 and 19. This year, the Omaha Products Show for business and industry, hosted by Mid-America Expositions, Inc. and sponsored by the Institute of Supply Management, celebrates its 50th year of bringing diverse products and services to one convenient location for Midwest industries.
Servicing a seven-state area, the Omaha Products Show is both a marketplace and a technical center, where suppliers and vendors are able to display products, materials, and services for area users and buyers. Over 300 exhibitors and 5,000-7,000 attendees make it one of the largest industry shows in the Midwest.
Bob Mancuso, Jr., CFO at Mid-American Expositions, Inc., serves as show director. He boasts that the expo is a “win-win-win situation” for users, buyers, and sellers alike. Attendees have the opportunity to see the latest in creativity and technology, products, and services that can be used in day-to-day operations. Businesses can gain valuable exposure, connect with customers face-to-face, and generate new leads and sales.
“The core of the show is the machinery and the manufacturing,” Mancuso says, “but in the last 10 to 15 years, there are companies that have come into the market with more business-to-business products, and deal with technology, staffing, office products—things that companies can do for other companies that are more service-oriented. We’ve allowed those companies to get in the show and showcase what they do because they are of the business-to-business nature.”
Construction and trucking equipment are standard fare at the expo, as are machine tools and engineering equipment. However, the show also features some unusual products, the most intriguing being robotics. In the past, the Omaha Police Department showcased their robotic equipment, and robotic cars have made an appearance. Returning again this year is the Braas Company, which uses robotics in its automation solutions equipment.
“You can actually see it flip dice, move the dice, pick them back up, and then re-throw them,” explains Mancuso. “It’s quite fascinating to watch.”
With all the massive, heavy, and quite expensive machinery coming in and out of the showcase, Mancuso admits that the wide diversity of equipment poses logistical challenges. The show provides riggers, forklifts, and move-in and move-out personnel to help companies meet these challenges.
“It’s amazing to see how this heavy equipment can get off a truck and be carried by two, sometimes three forklifts depending on the equipment, to move it into place. It can be very interesting to see everything happen,” Mancuso says.
The Products Show officially opens at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18 with the Opening Luncheon. The show opens at 1 p.m. and continues until 7 p.m. It will resume on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be served. The day will include speakers presenting on various topics of value to the business and industry professionals.