Attending industry events is an important aspect of planning your marketing calendar for the year ahead. For a start, it helps you stay informed about the latest innovations and industry trends, which can be used to tailor your content throughout the year. You can also meet suppliers, other marketing professionals, corporate leaders and policy makers, through which you can market your own services and products.
The 2020 calendar is already pretty packed, with many key events returning after successful shows in 2019. It’s interesting that a few have fallen by the wayside or been reimagined to meet the changing trends in the industry. The biggest theme that comes out in the shows that have been announced so far is digitisation. Many of these shows are looking at ways that new technologies can be adopted into manufacturing businesses and their supply chains to improve systems, save costs and operate in a greener fashion.
It’s also probable that Brexit will play a large part in many of the summits, as we start to feel its effects across the manufacturing industry for better or for worse. Speakers are likely to discuss the methods, technologies and systems that will help manufacturers to continue healthy operations.
Here is our list of the best UK manufacturing industry events and exhibitions for 2020. More will be added as further dates are released, but do let us know if we have missed any key dates.
11th-13th February 2020
This is considered one of the most-important shows in the UK’s manufacturing calendars, particularly for those located in the south. While its roots are a regional showcase, it has gained visitors from all over the UK. It is based in the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre. There is also a Northern version of the show later in the year (see below).
2020 National Manufacturing Conference
25th February 2020
This conference is by Make UK, The Manufacturers’ Organisation (previously EEF) with generous discounts for its members. It is packed with networking opportunities, keynote speeches, practical workshops and a curated exhibition. It’s a great place to get industry exposure for your business, right at the outset of 2020.
17th-18th March 2020
This international conference series returns to London a little earlier than last year in March 2020, with top-level content and discussion on the Internet of Things, covering its impact in a number of industries, including manufacturing.
31st March – 1st April 2020
This event focuses on the 4th industrial revolution and how it impacts on the UK manufacturing industry, exploring global trends and future developments. It’s a great chance to network, listen to inspiring case studies and understand the key trends in the industry. The Summit itself is the UK’s premier gathering of senior-level manufacturing executives, while the Expo showcases the latest technologies and is the largest of its kind.
1st-2nd April 2020
For manufacturing companies specialising in medical technology, this event is worth visiting. It’s a showcase for innovative UK medical design and manufacturing technology, with live demos and exhibitions, as well as a chance to network with more than 4,000 designers, engineers, innovators and manufacturers from the medical and healthcare sector.
30th April 2020
Join over 100 data-minded manufacturing professionals at this summit in London. Attendees represent all key industries, including aerospace, electronics, automotive and food, who come together to discuss the role of Big Data in their businesses.
23rd April 2020
Dedicated to bringing together manufacturing blockchain experts, this niche summit gives attendees the chance to network with senior executives from top-level manufacturers, such as Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin and Leonardo. Delegates can choose which sessions to attend to build a bespoke programme to best suit your business.
9th-11th June 2020
This year SubCon is co-located with The Engineer Expo (see below) to become one of the best and most relevant events for the manufacturing and engineering industry. SubCon is the UK’s premier subcontract manufacturing supply chain show and has exhibitors that showcase the best of British manufacturing, as well as worldwide suppliers.
9th-11th June 2020
The Engineer Expo focuses on in-house manufacturing and design solutions, cutting-edge developments, and advancements in engineering technologies. Over 4,000 visitors are expected, with more than 350 exhibitors.
17th June 2020
The future of the manufacturing industry is changing rapidly and this important summit will be looking at the people, processes and systems needed to deliver innovative and forward-looking solutions. It is organised by the team at The Manufacturer, the top UK industry publication for manufacturers.
29th September – 1st October 2020
If you’re interested in 3D printing and its potential applications, this is the must-visit show. It has been completely reimagined – and subtly renamed – for 2020 with the aim of going beyond simply raising awareness and adoption of these innovative technologies. Rather, it is now focused on developing true industry understanding of the potential of this kind of additive manufacturing and 3D printing.
29th September – 1st October 2020
This is the UK’s largest production line event focusing on processing and packaging machinery. It offers the most comprehensive line-up of production technologies, with over 450 exhibitors representing 2,500 brands. It delivers inspiration, ideas, new suppliers and networking opportunities. As it’s on at the same location and date as the TCT 3Sixty show (above), you could get two shows done in one weekend if both are relevant to your sector.
7th-8th October 2020
This show is located in EventCity in Manchester, right at the heart of the North’s manufacturing centre. It was first launched in 2013 and has since grown into an established event for manufacturers and their supply chains for networking and showcasing the latest technology. It makes for a very convenient one-stop-shop for the region.
7th-8th October 2020
In its seventh edition, this Financial Times summit, you can hear from business leaders and senior policy makers on all topics that impact the future of manufacturing. This includes supply chain innovations, green manufacturing, intelligent operations, optimising production lines and the impact of Brexit.
3rd-4th November 2020
Back in the large Ricoh Area in Coventry, the UK’s largest dedicated Robotics and Automation exhibition is back for 2020, with over 100 exhibitors and 40 conference sessions. It’s a good opportunity to explore the future of robotics, automation and related technologies for the manufacturing industry.
5th-6th October 2020
There isn’t a lot of information about the 2020 conference as yet, but you can register your interest to find out when tickets for the sixth annual conference are released. As this conference is likely to sell out, if you want to go it’s worth registering early. It’s a key date for manufacturers who want to digitise their processes.
10th-13th November 2020
This is the UK’s national festival of advanced manufacturing and should be in every manufacturer’s marketing calendar. It’s tailored towards helping manufacturers future-proof their business and look at the upcoming changes and innovations in the industry. It comprises dozens of manufacturing events, alongside expert presentations and speakers.
There are more events still to be announced and confirmed for 2020, which means there will be even more marketing opportunities for your business To get you started with your marketing plan for 2020, download our free guide to developing an inbound marketing strategy in the manufacturing industry.