As the final curtain drops on MACH 2018, key members of the MTA team have been reflecting on what has been by common consent a very successful week for the UK manufacturing and engineering sector.
Following a week-long build-up, during which equipment had to be transported, installed and set up ready for live demonstrations, the show ran smoothly all week, with visitors captivated by the dynamic nature of many of the stands.
Ahead of MACH 2018, a decision was taken in consultation with exhibitors via the exhibition committee to switch the show to a new set of halls for the first time since it moved to the NEC. This move appears to have been well received by visitors and exhibitors alike, with James Fudge, the MTA’s Head of Events & Member Services, saying: “Coming into the show, we were not sure what the reaction would be. We were very excited about the move and were hoping there would be more frontage and it would spread the visitors out. That is exactly what it has done, so we’ve had a much better flow of traffic through the halls, with no pinch points when it gets extremely busy.”
Despite MACH being held in a location at the NEC covering a much larger footprint, the visitor numbers exceeded MACH 2016. “We’re still waiting for the final numbers to come in, but every day of this year’s show has seen an increase in visitors compared to the equivalent day in 2016,” said Fudge.
One of the key features of MACH 2018 has been the Education and Development Zone, which attracted a stream of young people of both genders throughout the week, but especially on the Friday, which was the day designated to focus on careers.
“Our job is to promote the industry, and we feel our industry is really forward-looking and dynamic,” said James Selka, CEO of MTA. “To have the young people walking around – with their parents, because of the Easter holidays – has brought a massive new dimension to the show. It is a really good demonstration of just how forward-looking the industry is at the moment.”