Springboard for new ideas
25 January 2013
Fresh ideas are the staple diet of engineering, and with UK manufacturing's appetite for growth returning strongly, the vast smorgasbord of new ideas available in one handy serving at The Southern Manufacturing & Electron
With the number of exhibitors exceeding 600 for the first time, Southern Manufacturing 2011 (FIVE, Farnborough, February 16th and 17th) will be the largest to date.
For those who have never made the trip to Farnborough, the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show is something of a revelation: Practically every kind of engineering activity is gathered together in one venue, all carefully grouped into different specialist areas to make it easy to navigate.
What that means is that in a single visit, it's possible to meet a wide range of suppliers, dealing with virtually every aspect of the manufacturing process.
From the latest motion control systems, to the humblest plastic moulded part, it's all here in one, easily-accessible venue.
"Exhibitions are an extremely effective way to see what's new in your industry and to meet new suppliers," says show director Phil Valentine. "But all too often, attending national exhibitions involves a significant commitment of time, money and energy. But our focus on bringing a broad range of suppliers together in a regional venue means that visitors can really make very efficient use of their time by seeing everything they need to in just one visit." What started as a minor regional engineering show 15 years ago, has now grown into an event of national significance, with suppliers from all over the country - and indeed continental Europe - taking part.
As one visitor to last year's event pointed out: "To be able to pick up new ideas you need diversity and that's something this show does very well." Housed in a temporary venue at Farnborough Airport, the show is within easy reach of London, the M4 corridor and the industrial centres along the South coast.
Such was the popularity of the 2010 show, that the organiser, European Trade & Exhibition Services, added another 750m2 to the venue for 2011, only to see the extra space snapped up almost immediately. "We had already exceeded the final exhibitor count for 2010 by the middle of September," says Valentine.
The show venue is arranged into three main areas, covering manufacturing, electronics and a specialist high-tech engineering area for the automotive and aerospace sectors - Auto Aero.
With its aviation heritage and with many aerospace businesses located close by, Farnborough is the ideal location for the kind of precision engineering services to be found at Auto Aero.
Seminars Alongside the exhibition space, there is an extensive free technical seminar programme that runs over both days of the show in two venues. Last year's sessions proved very popular, with several seminars oversubscribed.
This year, with sessions hosted by leading academics and manufacturing organisations such as the EEF, the GTMA, the SMART group among many others, the organiser is predicting that demand for spaces will again outstrip supply. Visitors can ensure they don't miss out by pre-registering.
Visitors can also keep up to date with all the latest event and exhibitor news by following the show's official blog page - http://blog.industrysouth.co.uk - or by joining the show's official group on the business networking site, LinkedIn.
Entry to the show and the seminars is free to business visitors. Registration is quick and easy at www.industrysouth.co.uk, or you can request tickets and information by calling the organiser on the number below.