Reaction and comment from Day one of MACH 2018
The opening day of MACH 2018 has been deemed successful by Geoff Bryant, President of show owner and organiser MTA (the Manufacturing Technologies Association). As the doors opened at 9.00, a significant stream of visitors burst into the halls to experience the new-look MACH across six halls on the ‘atrium’ side of the NEC complex.
Following a week-long build-up, the stage was set for the largest event for the UK manufacturing sector, and the new single-space format drew praise from exhibitors and visitors alike.
“The feeling and buzz across the halls appeared to be very positive for a Monday,” reported Bryant. “Of course, this is the first time in this location, so we are not comparing like with like, but the feeling was very much one of even spread of visitors across the whole of the new layout, which of course was the prime reason we decided to relocate here.”
The number of working machines on display at MACH 2018 is approximately 10% greater than at the previous event, creating both interest and engagement. “We live in an industry where seeing is believing,” says Bryant. “The aim of every exhibitor is to get people in front of the kit they are offering, and working machinery is a compelling way to do that.”
With the internet now ensuring buyers have unlimited access to a global marketplace at the click of a mouse, many commentators had forecast the demise of trade shows. However, as MACH has proved over the years with growing numbers of exhibitors and visitors, trade shows still play a very strong role in putting buyers in touch with manufacturers.
“Everyone is time precious,” says Bryant, “and they will research products and brands they know they need to look at. But as they move around the halls, they will always see something that catches their attention that they didn’t know existed. And as all our exhibitors know, it can be very difficult to get an audience with a potential customer just by knocking on their door. At MACH, they can get that audience and start to build a relationship. That is something the internet cannot offer.”
VISITOR VOX POPS
TJ Whitehouse, Engineer, Northern Hydraulics Ltd., Co. Tyrone
What is your prime reason for visiting MACH?
“I came here primarily to look at a hit-list of saw technologies, including laser cutting, automated saws, 5-axis CNC, bar filling and head forming. I’ve made some good connections here and come away with a pocketful of new contacts. We’re a mass manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders.”
Has anything here caught your eye?
“Some of the metrology technologies – automated measurement and inspection options – have been really interesting.”
Kenton Cawley, Manufacturing & Engineering Director, Haynes International, Manchester
What did you come to MACH to see?
“Waterjets, finishing equipment, deburring, inspection equipment, storage systems, band saw cutting… We’re an aerospace engineering company.”
Did you find the solutions you were looking for?
“Yes. I had some brands in mind, but I also found some suppliers I didn’t know about as well.”
Have you visited MACH previously?
“Yes, and I have found it very impressive this year.”
Lizzie & Darcie (both 15), Students, Middlewich High School, Cheshire
What encouraged you to visit MACH?
Lizzie: “We were attracted by the interactivity, particularly the drones.”
Darcie: “It seemed very interesting.”
Are you looking to make a career in this industry?
Lizzie – “Possibly, yes.”
Darcie: “I’m not sure what I want to do – I just wanted to get a taste of everything.
What has caught your eye today?
Both: “The drones!”
Lizzie: “The flying ones, obviously, but also all the other ones like the LEGO ones. They get you involved, otherwise you’d just be walking around and talking. The activity makes you more interested in what’s going on.”