Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2012 has been hailed as the biggest and most successful ever staged. Early figures indicate visitor numbers well in excess of 7200, smashing last year's record-breaking 6400 attendance.
Over 600 companies from all around the world took part in this year's show, exhibiting a wide range of industrial products and services. Some of the biggest names in machine tools - such as Amada, Yamazaki Mazak, XYZ Machine Tools, Agie Charmilles and HAAS Automation - joined a huge variety of subcontractors, electronics, tooling, components and production equipment suppliers in Farnborough at what is now claimed to be the UK's number-one industrial engineering show in many people's eyes.
Kevin Lewis, a Product Manager with BT, commented: "I come every year, and for me attendance is essential. This year is the biggest so far. It is a great show to attend to keep up-to-date with all the latest processes, products and new production techniques."
Business consultant James Swift said: "There is a lot of stands in a compact space so everywhere you turn there is something to see. There is also a lot of decision-makers here; most people are either Technical Directors or Managing Directors so it is nice that everyone's getting direct exposure to decision-makers."
Exhibitors at the show were similarly enthusiastic. Ian Mort, director of Yamaichi Electronics, commented: "Even more interest than we had anticipated. Great level of enquiries and our feeling is that Southern Manufacturing is definitely the show to be at. Does not seem much doubt that we will be back again for 2013."
Walter Kos, the managing director of Cablespeed, commented: "We reckon we have had a 50 per cent increase in enquiries and encouragingly we seem to have more and more UK customers coming back. Level and types of enquiry are great. It is an important show as far as we are concerned and we had no hesitation about re-booking for next year."
Around 20 per cent of exhibitors at Southern Manufacturing 2012 were there for the first time, joining an ever-growing band of regular attendees. Dennis Jones of Pontypool-based DJJ Precision Engineering said: "We are genuine regulars. It is the only show for us. We now focus totally on Southern Manufacturing. This year it is really busy with a good volume and quality of enquiries. As an extra benefit, there is a fair bit of reciprocal trading with other exhibitors as well."
Bookings for Southern Manufacturing 2013 are well ahead of previous years, with companies queuing to rebook stands. At the end of the show, around 60 per cent of stands had already been earmarked by returning companies.
Show director, Phil Valentine, commented: "We are absolutely delighted with the way the show has gone. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone that attended, to our seminar presenters and to all of our exhibitors who made a tremendous effort to ensure the show's success. This year's Southern Manufacturing was a landmark event, and I believe has established beyond question its reputation as the country's top industrial show."
Companies considering booking space at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2013, Five, Farnborough, 13 and 14 February 2013, can find out more by contacting show organisers European Trade & Exhibition Services (ETES) on +44 (0)1784 880890 or email .