Home >A year of challenges

A year of challenges

26 November 2016

Two events have dominated the Manufacturing Technologies Association’s year. In April it hosted MACH 2016 at the NEC in Birmingham for five days, and since June when the result of the UK referendum vote was announced, it has been focusing on how best to help its members meet the challenges that BREXIT will present. James Selka, CEO explains more

 MACH is always one of the highlights of the UK manufacturing calendar and 2016 proved to be more than successful, with exhibition space completely sold out, a 10% increase on visitors from 2014 and more than £150 million worth of business attributed to the show. We’re looking forward positively to 2018’s edition already.

In 2018 we will see a change in the exhibition, as it will take place on the atrium side of the NEC in halls 17, 18, 19, 20, 6 and 7. The new halls mean the show will take place in a single space and on one level making the show easier to navigate for visitors and putting all exhibitors in the same space. 

This is the first time the show has moved since relocating to the NEC when it opened in 1976, and we feel it represents the changing technology and areas the show covers. 

The changes in technologies exhibited at the show as the industry moves further down the path towards digitalisation needs to be reflected in the exhibition itself. As such, we as owners and organisers, have decided to refresh the show and enhanced the visitor experience by moving to this new location. The new layout also means a reduced depth from the front to the back of the halls making it easier for visitors to navigate and see the entire show. 

The ballot process has now taken place with floor plans starting to take shape and well over 18,000 square meters allocated to date. Full, live floor plans can be found on the MACH 2018 website: machexhibition.com.

On the flip side, in June we had the referendum vote to decide whether or not to leave the European Union. BREXIT itself is going to be a very challenging process for the whole of the UK not least the manufacturing sector. It is not just about the freedom to move goods without tariffs, it is about how our interconnected supply chains across the continent need to be protected.      

But through all the negatives BREXIT might cause, we are pleased to see that the UK Government has started developing an industrial strategy, which we hope will give the advanced manufacturing sector in the country the support it needs. And rest assured the MTA and its members will be pushing hard to ensure that the interests of advanced manufacturing are taken into account.