Posted on 28 Sep, 2017 by Neil Sharp
The Engineering Design Show (18th - 19th October) is advertised as "the UK's must-attend event for engineering, electronics and embedded design" and promises "a fully immersive experience of innovation, inspiration, interaction and insight".
Now in its sixth year, the two-day event provides the ideal platform to learn and review what's new in engineering design, and how you can benefit.
The event provides an opportunity for you to meet face to face with over 220 exhibitors in engineering, electronics and embedded design and will bring together thousands of decision makers in one place.
Industry experts will be delivering powerful insight and debate on advanced engineering techniques. Highlights for this year include keynote speakers from BAE Systems, Tharsus, Lenovo, Nano-Dimension, PTC, and the UK Space Agency.
You'll also have the opportunity to gain insider's tips and tricks, with practical workshops covering topics from wireless technologies available for IoT products, enhanced direct bonding of plastic to metals using plasma technology, and strategies to address EMS issues when designing PCBs - just to name a few.
With so much going on, to ensure you get the most from the event, we have put together a quick 12-point guide, which we hope you will find of use.
1. Where and when
The show is located at Coventry's Ricoh Arena, in the Ericsson Exhibition Hall. The show is open from 10am to 5pm on Wednesday and 10am to 4pm on Thursday. On both days the first conference starts at 9.15am.
If you are planning to drive and have a Sat Nav the postcode to use is CV6 6GE. The arena is just yards from junction 3 of the M6 motorway, and is adjacent to Coventry Arena railway station. The nearest airport is Birmingham International Airport. If you are travelling by rail, air or bus please click here for further information, including maps and timetables.
There are plenty of car parking spaces at the arena. Parking at the arena is free, and pre-booking is not required. Please be aware that there is no parking available in the side streets near the venue.
Entry to the show is free of charge. To avoid queuing up and to save yourself a little time on the day you can pre-register to visit.
5. Exhibitor listing
You can search for exhibitors by company name or service. Each exhibitor listing should include their company name, stand number, website, contact telephone and email, and a brief description of what they do.
6. Plan your route
On arrival at the show, we recommend you head straight to one of the catering facilities, grab yourself a coffee and plan your route. We recommend taking 30 minutes or so to plan your day to ensure you make the most of your visit. You may also wish to take a look at the floorplan in advance. To see the floorplan, click here.
7. Make appointments
If you already know who you want to meet at the show then it makes sense to contact them in advance so you can pre-book a time slot with them. Exhibitors will want to make sure they give each of their stand visitors an equal opportunity to discuss their requirements. By pre-booking time with them you not only get to keep control of your own schedule, but also reduce the chance of turning up at the same time as other interested parties and missing out on an opportunity to talk. To locate a contact telephone number or email for a particular company, go to the official exhibitor list and once you find the relevant supplier click on 'view full information'.
8. Follow the activity
If you have a Twitter account the official account to follow for the Engineering Design Show 2017 is @EngDesignShow. Exhibitor news, guest speaker details and seminar schedules are often posted up on these channels. Exhibitors themselves are also actively posting hints and clues as to what they will be wowing you with this year and sharing their stand numbers so you can find them. There is also a LinkedIn group for the show, which contains a number of articles and press releases submitted by exhibitors that you may find useful to keep track of.
9. Recording your conversations
I can’t stress this point enough - if you are planning to visit multiple exhibitors or looking to attend the show over a couple of days you will need a quick way of capturing your conversations so you can refer back to them after the show. If you already use some kind of supplier questionnaire or checklist then maybe you can adapt this for the show. Determining what essential capabilities each supplier must have, along with those which are "nice to have", will make comparisons much easier once you are back in the office. It also makes sure you don’t confuse one company or conversation you had with someone else, which could lead to issues in the future.
10. Request for quote
With a number of potential partners all under one roof, the Engineering Design Show 2017 creates a perfect opportunity for benchmarking. You will certainly get a good "feel" for the people behind the organisation and the knowledge they have of the products and services they offer. We would recommend, however, holding back from issuing "live" quote packs during the show; unless, of course, you are confident the supplier has the capability, quality and ability to deliver your immediate requirements. Inadvertently, you may be creating artificial demand, which, in turn, could drive pricing up or risk you being bombarded with quotes and follow up sales calls the moment you get back. Instead, we recommend using the show as a way of creating a shortlist of potential suppliers and then spending time sending tailored request for quotes (RFQ) when you are back in the office.
11. Learn something new
During the two-day event, the organisers plan to host 24 thought-provoking conferences providing insight and debate into the future of engineering design. Workshops will also present new design solutions and discuss latest trends. You can see a full list of conferences here, and to view what workshops will be taking place click on this link.
These conferences and workshops are a great way to break up your day while keeping up-to-date with a wide range of industry-related topics. Make sure you plan these into your route so you make your visit more efficient by avoiding walking back and forth.
12. Follow up
After all the buzz and excitement on the day it’s easy to head back into the office and then get caught up in the next/latest operational issue. However, as you’ve just invested precious time in attending the show, failing to follow up and make contact with the key suppliers you’ve met would be a shame. To avoid being "chased", you should try and manage supplier expectations at the show. If you need to carry out a review of your options using the information you gleaned on the day then tell the supplier they shouldn’t expect to hear from you until a certain time.
Hopefully, this quick 12-point guide on the forthcoming Engineering Design Show 2017 will prove useful to you. If you have any further questions regarding the exhibition, then feel free to leave a comment below and we will do our best to answer them for you.