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M&E Week is ‘UK’s biggest industrial event’ after 2 years

30 June, 2023

Manufacturing & Engineering Week has become the UK’s biggest industrial event in just its second year, according to its organiser, The Nineteen Group. The two-day event held at the NEC in June attracted 10,355 visitors and 342 exhibitors.

The show kicked off with a keynote speech by Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State at the Department for Business & Trade. During the following two days, more than 150 other speakers gave presentations.

The Week also included the Manufacturing Digitalisation Summit, the SME Growth Summit, and The Manufacturer Top 100 Award ceremony. More than 450 students attended the exhibition on the final afternoon.

According to Manufacturing & Engineering Week portfolio director, Haf Cennydd: “To have built the biggest UK event for the industrial sector in just two years has surpassed our expectations and clearly demonstrates that bringing together Smart Factory Expo, Design & Engineering Expo and Maintec was a great idea. With industrial events also taking place at the same time and venue run by other event organisers, plus the addition of Drives & Controls, Air-Tech and Fluid Power & Systems, there will only be more to see and do in 2024.”

One of the exhibitors at this year’s show was igus UK. “It’s been fantastic,” says managing director, Matthew Aldridge. “Probably the busiest show I can remember in the last decade.”

Almost all (91%) of the exhibitors in the Maintec section have rebooked to take part in the 2024 event. The organisers have already extended the floorplan to accommodate the growing interest for next year.

“Manufacturing and Engineering Week has gone from strength to strength from last year to this year and we expect it to grow even further next year,” says Stephen Phipson, CEO of the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK and chair of the Manufacturing & Engineering Week steering committee. “Key challenges were high on the agenda for the second year, with skills, supply chain and sustainability discussed in detail. It was great to see the show also offset their carbon emissions once again by planting thousands more trees in the M&E Week forest.”

M&E Week attracted more than 10,000 visitors to the NEC

Nineteen Group CEO Peter Jones is delighted with the way the show went: “We gave our team the licence to disrupt the accepted norms of what an industrial sector trade show looked like, felt like and achieved and they have over-performed by every measure,” he says. “From the Nexa3D guitar players’ competition to the festival-like stilt walkers and branding to the sheer sense of excitement generated on the exhibition floor it's been superb, and it will only get better next year as we add Drives & Controls, Air-Tech and Fluid Power & Systems into the mix.”

In 2024, M&E Week will take place in two halls at the NEC. In addition to the Smart Factory Expo, Design & Engineering Expo and Maintec taking place in Hall 4 on 5 and 6 June, Hall 5 will host the Drives & Controls, Air-Tech and Fluid Power & Systems events for three days from 4–6 June. These last three events were acquired by The Nineteen Group from DFA Media in 2022. At this year’s show, they formed a zone within M&E Week, but they will return as full exhibitions in 2024.

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