Since next year’s SPS/IPC/Drives Show is the week after Thanksgiving, you should plan to go. It is THE show for industrial automation.
The show runs for three days: November 27 through 29, 2012.
Monitor the show website for updates and news: http://www.mesago.de/en/SPS/home.htm
Tickets for the show are not expensive, but you can probably get them for free by watching the ticket page.
The sooner you book your air travel, the cheaper your fare is likely to be. Look for coach tickets that can be upgraded (which is easier if you have some status with the airline). Or perhaps you can snag some discounted business class tickets. If you can sleep on board (easier in business class), you will arrive ready to go; if not, plan on allowing a day to acclimatize. The conventional wisdom is to remain awake until bedtime on your first day there. My system responds better if I take a short nap after arrival. Most flights from the North America arrive in the morning.
If your airline can’t get you to Nuremberg, no worries. Plan to take a train from their hub to Nuremberg. You can find a train schedule at http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml. You can buy tickets there too, but I would not book a specific train time – on time air arrival can be iffy. Look for an InterCity Express (ICE) with no change of train.
Book your hotel early, too, or you can wind up with a long train ride to the show. I prefer staying near the central part of Nuremberg where there are plenty of restaurants and sights. From the main train station, you can take the U-Bahn (the underground train) U1 or U11 in the direction: ‘Langwasser Süd’. It will take you directly to the show (“Messe”) in only 8 minutes. Or if there are several of you, a taxi is inexpensive.
The hotel rates are high during the show leading some folks to choose staying in a private home that has registered to accept guests. I have not done that so I don’t know how to arrange that kind of accommodation.
Restaurants: there are many good restaurants in the city. See me at the show and I’ll give you some recommendations.
The Christmas Market will probably have already started next year before the show. It’s interesting to walk through the individual stalls and perhaps buy an authentic German gift for the family. It’s in the city center. So are many museums; I especially enjoyed the Toy Museum.
Plan your travel now and plan to visit the PI booth and say Hello!