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Visitor numbers soar for Drives Show at the NEC

01 June, 2006

Visitor numbers soar for Drives Show at the NEC

Last month`s engineering mega-event at the NEC attracted more than 7,000 visitors to the Drives & Controls show and its sister exhibitions, Electrex and AirTech. This is more than three times as many visitors as attended the last stand-alone Drives show in Telford in 2004, and was the biggest number at a Drives & Controls show since the 1990s.

"It was a fantastic three days," says the event sales director, Doug Devlin (shown above, right, with footballing legend, Sir Bobby Charlton, who opened the show). "The exhibitors were delighted with the quality and quantity of leads coming from a broad spectrum of industry. It clearly shows that the drives, automation and power transmission industry deserves its own show. Co-locating with MACH and going biennial is clearly the future for the drives industry."

Many of the exhibitors report picking up potentially lucrative enquiries at the show. For example, the first-time exhibitor MiniTec UK, which specialises in modular profile machine-building systems, had a "very successful" debut. "We had great, quality leads, totalling about £50,000," reports managing director, Gary Livingstone. "That was entirely due to being at the show."

Control Techniques says that the show was its best for five years. "Visitor numbers were double or even triple those at the last show," reports sales manager, Graham Bailey. "The link with MACH and the other co-locating shows proved to be very successful."

"Talk about being in the right place at the right time," says Tony Pickering, Danfoss Motion Control`s sales director. "We received a very big enquiry from a customer we had been trying to court for some time, and it was purely down to being at the show."

Carl Krajewski of Siemens` partner, HMK Technical Services, believes that the show "was as good as it was five years ago - we took as many enquiries as we`ve ever taken at a show."

The decision to run Drives & Controls alongside other engineering shows such as MACH, Subcon, Product Development and Nemex, created a major engineering event and was a key in attracting extra visitors to all of the shows.

Despite the hardships of the machine tools industry, the MACH show also increased its attendance, by 9.2%, drawing 22,742 visitors, compared to 20,809 in on 2004. The number of exhibitors at the show also rose from 480 to 538.

"We believe that co-locating these major engineering exhibitions at one venue was a major benefit to all concerned," says Graham Shearsmith, the MACH exhibition director. "We certainly saw extra visitors from the Drives & Controls Show who probably would not have come to MACH alone.

"We`re delighted at how well the various organisers worked together for the good of the industry," he adds. "Everybody was extremely co-operative."

The next Drives & Controls show will take place alongside MACH in April, 2008.

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