Success of Midlands Manufacturing Show underlines the benefit of regional exhibitions

April 17, 2008

Last month’s Midlands Manufacturing Technology Show demonstrated the effectiveness of regional engineering exhibitions in bringing together buyers, producers and service companies in their area. Over a thousand manufacturing decision-makers from the Midlands area were able to experience the latest manufacturing tools and technologies brought literally to their doorstep by this unique annual showcase of local industrial expertise.

The convenience of regional industrial shows makes it much easier for busy industry professionals to attend. One visitor commented, “Attending national industrial exhibitions is difficult for us; the time and expense involved simply doesn’t translate into benefit for our business. Regional shows like the Midlands Manufacturing Technology show, however, are highly relevant, easily reached and an excellent way for us to meet new suppliers and keep in touch with what’s happening in our region.”

For exhibitors at the show, being able to promote their goods and services directly into the UK’s industrial heartland delivered a powerful competitive advantage. Mark Longworth, sales manager for B & M Longworth, commented, “The show has exceeded our previous record for new qualified sales leads. Six site visits have been arranged, which include some of the biggest names in the automotive industry. We leave as very happy exhibitors.”

Aaron Benson, of Benson Engineering, said “As an Irish company, these regional shows are an ideal opportunity to assess local markets for turned parts. It would be impossible to make the number of contacts I’ve made over the last two days any other way.”

Midlands Manufacturng Technology is just one of a stable of highly successful regional industrial events organised by European Trade & Exhibition Services (ETES), which includes Southern Manufacturing, Manufacturing Technology Ireland and North West Manufacturing. All the events share a common format, tailored to meet the needs of the individual markets they serve. Entry to all the ETES shows is free and includes entry to popular seminar programmes covering topics such as Kaizen/Six Sigma, Achieving success in the Automotive and Aerospace sectors, Lean Manufacturing, Innovation and Knowledge-Based Engineering.

The next event in the ETES calendar of regional industrial shows is North West Manufacturing & Electronics, Reebok Stadium, Bolton 11-12th of June. For free tickets and to register for any of the free seminars, visit


Southern Electronics sets new visitor record

February 25, 2008

Southern Electronics 2008Southern Electronics 200825 February 2008

Statistics released today show the Southern Electronics show (February 6th-7th 2008, FIVE, Farnborough) proved a resounding hit with those involved in electronics, component sourcing or electronic assembly. Nearly 4,400 industry professionals visited Farnborough over the two-day event – a significant increase over previous years. Visitor interest in areas related to production and quality rose dramatically, with increases of over 120% in some areas.

The relocation to FIVE, Farnborough, with its improved facilities and 25% increase in exhibition space, allowed more companies than ever to take part in the show. Virtually every aspect of electronics manufacture and sub-contracting was well represented, drawing an enthusiastic response from exhibitors and visitors alike.

Robert Crosby-Clarke, UK sales manager of Electrolube, said “After visiting the Southern Electronics show last year and seeing how it had expanded, we thought we would give it a go. The show was very busy and there was considerable interest in our range. We have already taken the decision to exhibit again next year.” 

Detailed statistics from the show reveal significant growth in the electronics-related interests of visitors such as electronic assembly, components and adhesives. Small companies of between 1 and 20 employees remained the largest single group of visitors at around 20%, but there was also an increase in visitors from businesses of between 51 and 200 employees, to around 14%, indicating increasing interest being shown in regional events by medium sized enterprises. But the largest increase was in visitor interest in goods and services related to production and quality. The percentage of visitors interested in Assembly Systems, Automation, Industrial Computing, Inspection Systems and Manufacturing Software more than doubled on 2007 figures. The statistics provide objective evidence reflecting the upbeat mood of the event, and shows that the business sentiment for electronics SMEs is far from pessimistic.

Southern Electronics is just one of a number of regional industrial events run by European Trade & Exhibition Services around the UK and Eire. Managing director, Phil Valentine, believes that, while support for national trade exhibitions is waning, interest in regional events is stronger than ever. “The trend in society as a whole is towards the local sourcing of suppliers and services. What we are doing with our regional shows is essentially just the same: We provide a unique and cost-effective way for companies to market their goods and services right on the doorstep of their prospective customers. The growth in visitor numbers this year indicates that people are increasingly in favour of highly-focussed regional events rather than committing precious time and resources to visiting or exhibiting at national trade shows.” 

The next regional exhibition in the calendar, Midlands Manufacturing Technology, opens its doors at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on March 18th and 19th. Many of the companies participating in the Southern shows will also be at the Midlands event, making it a great opportunity to catch-up with the very latest components, technologies and services. Entry to the show and its popular seminar programme is free, and there is plentiful parking on site. Ricoh Stadium is just 4 miles north of Coventry City centre and enjoys excellent access by road and rail, and by air via Coventry Executive and Birmingham International Airports. For more information, call 01784 880890 or visit

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2008 more popular than ever

February 14, 2008

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2008

The Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show 2008 has been hailed as a huge success. The show organisers were expecting a record turnout, but the early indications are that even those expectations will be exceeded as visitors flocked to the show’s new home at Farnborough.

The show’s spacious new surroundings at FIVE, Farnborough allowed a significant increase in the exhibition floor space, giving more companies than ever the chance to exhibit at this popular event. Well over 460 companies took part this year, exhibiting an astonishing diversity of technologies, products and services – everything from the most sophisticated machine tools to the simplest connector was on show. The addition of a specialist automotive and aerospace engineering area for 2008 has given the show another exciting dimension, and a particularly appropriate one given its location at the birthplace of the UK aviation industry. 

The mood amongst visitors and exhibitor’s at this year’s event appears to have been extremely upbeat and activity on the exhibition floor was more hectic than ever. Media speculation about an economic slowdown appears not to have dampened visitor’s enthusiasm, and the strong support enjoyed by the show indicates that engineering business at the grass-roots level remains buoyant. 

Show director, Phil Valentine, said, “We were very pleased to see so many visitors at the show, and are particularly encouraged by the number of first-time visitors. The feedback we’ve had from exhibitors so far has been extremely positive, and we’ve been particularly impressed with the quality of presentation of many of the stands.” 

Following hot on the heels of the Southern shows, Midlands Manufacturing opens its doors at the Ricoh Arena,Coventry, on March 18th and 19th. Many of the companies participating in the Southern shows will also be at the Midlands event, making it a great opportunity to catch-up with the very latest components, technologies and services. Like Southern Manufacturing, entry to the show and the seminars is free, and there is plentiful parking on site. Ricoh Stadium is just 4 miles north of Coventry City centre and enjoys excellent access by road and rail, and by air via Coventry Executive and Birmingham International Airports. For more information, call 01784 880890 or visit

A show to fire the imagination

February 5, 2008

Hot Stuff

The two things guaranteed to arouse the interest of engineers everywhere are high speed and loud noise. Visitors to the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show  08 (FIVE, Farnborough, February 6-7th) have the chance to get up close to a piece of homespun engineering brilliance that features both in plentiful measure. On display will be an incredible experimental rocket-powered drag racer, Laffin Gas. Powered by four hybrid rocket motors, Laffin Gas was developed and built by a UK-based team of engineers and self-confessed speed freaks, headed by husband and wife Carolynne Campbell and David Knight, along with Fred Thomas and a dedicated team of specialists and helpers.

Laffin Gas’s hybrid rocket motor uses the unlikely combination of cardboard and cooking oil, which is burnt in a high-pressure stream of Nitrous Oxide gas to create a hypersonic exhaust flow. Using their unique bio-fuel technology, Laffin Gas’s four engines are theoretically capable of developing an incredible 12,000lbs of thrust – more than enough to propel the car to record-breaking velocities. Hybrid rocket technology employs a combination of liquid and solid fuels, and is the technology which powers SpaceShipOne – the world’s first privately built space vehicle.

Styling themselves the “Fred Dibnah’s of rocket science”, the Laffin Gas team have made impressive progress in developing hybrid rocket technology to the point where it is a highly effective, clean-burning and comparatively safe propulsion system, ideally suited to drag racing. Phil Valentine, managing director of show organiser ETES, says, ”The combination of ingenuity, vision and engineering skill shown by the Laffin Gas team is a perfect illustration of all that’s best in UK engineering. We are really pleased to welcome the team to the show, and we expect their presence to generate a lot of interest.”

The Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show historically draws a high percentage of its visitors from the aerospace and autosport engineering community. Key product areas on display include surface engineering and coatings, composites, low cost tooling, digital manufacture, engine components and assembly integration. The new FIVE exhibition facility alongside Farnborough International Airport in Hampshire offers plentiful free car parking, superb access by road, rail or air, and an excellent selection of local hotels and restaurants. Entry to the show, and the seminar programme, is free for business visitors. Southern Manufacturing is a must-see event for anyone involved with engineering, and a pretty unique chance to get up close to some genuine automotive history.

Southern Manufacturing announces free seminar programme

December 2, 2007

The Southern Manufacturing show (February 6th-7th 2008, FIVE, Farnborough) has announced its free seminar programme for 2008. The show’s new venue at Farnborough will provide a superb setting for a busy two-day programme of sessions aimed at anyone involved in manufacturing or engineering sub-contracting.

Always hugely popular, the Southern Manufacturing Show free seminar programme is a fantastic opportunity for visitors and exhibitors alike to take part in a wide-ranging programme of presentations, each delivered by experts in their respective fields. No other show offers free access to such high-calibre technical and commercial expertise, and is one reason why the Southern Manufacturing Show enjoys such strong support from engineering and industrial businesses across the South.  

This year’s seminar programme combines practical advice and guidance on topics which affect business today, with an insight into the trends and ideas that will shape engineering business in the future. Wayne Davies of the Manufacturing Advisory Service-SE will present an innovative approach to adapting the ideas of Six Sigma to an SME environment. Wayne’s colleague from the MAS-SE, Stewart Barrass, will present a similar insight into Lean Thinking for engineering SMEs.

Mike Foster of the CE Marking Association will present an update of the latest legislative requirements to affect business, together with practical steps businesses can take towards compliance. John Grieves of Continuous Improvement Services gives an appraisal of the benefits of sustainable improvement programmes to smaller organisations, and the skills necessary to implement them effectively, while Michael West from BeStrategic will examine some of the techniques which can help businesses succeed in new product development.

Graham Tromans of the Rapid Manufacturing Research Group at LoughboroughUniversity will present an illuminating look at the development of rapid prototyping and tooling technologies and the effect they may have on manufacturing in the future. Finally, an absorbing session hosted by the Components Bureau will take an objective and frank look behind the headlines to examine the quality assurance issues affecting sub-contracting in Asia. Illustrated by case studies, representatives from Chinese manufacturing industry and professional organisations will give advice on practical measures than can be taken to improve supply chain management.  

Attendance at all the seminars is free and open to all visitors and exhibitors at Southern Manufacturing and Electronics. Despite Farnborough’s more spacious surroundings, places are limited and demand is expected to be exceptionally high so pre-booking is essential. Visitor pre-registration for the event and seminars, together with full event information, is available online at

Farnborough International Venue and Events (FIVE), the new home of Southern Manufacturing and Electronics, offers superb facilities, plentiful free car parking, easy access by road, rail or air, and an excellent selection of local hotels and restaurants. Running alongside the Southern shows will be a new attraction, Auto Aero 2008, a show aimed at specialist aerospace and automotive engineering suppliers. With 25% more exhibition space, better facilities and more attractions, there has never been a more compelling case to visit Southern Manufacturing and Electronics, the biggest and most established manufacturing and engineering show in the South. For more information, call 01784 880890 or visit