MACH 2022 proves major catalyst for manufacturing investment

2 min read

MACH 2022, the largest display of new machinery and manufacturing technologies under one roof in the UK for four years, lived up to its billing as a major catalyst for investment with scores of exhibitors reporting strong sales and positive interest in their products during the five-day event at Birmingham’s NEC.

And in a shot-in-the-arm for both the manufacturing industry and the exhibition itself, MACH organiser, the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has reported that advance sales for the 2024 event have set a new record, with manufacturers keen to exploit the opportunities created at the 2022 show.

James Selka, CEO, MTA said: “Given all the problems in the run-up to the exhibition – the pandemic, ongoing supply chain disruption, mounting cost pressures and international conflicts – we have been absolutely delighted with the reaction to the show and the positive feedback we have received from exhibitors.

“As the MTA had predicted before the show, despite peripheral pressures we had detected a willingness amongst manufacturers to invest in new equipment and technologies, and this proved to be the case. The Government said in its Spring Statement in March that investment remains a key driver of productivity growth and that by adding to the economy’s capital stock and improving the skills of the workforce, the economy can produce more with the same input from workers.

“This aligns with the MTA’s own view that investment in machinery and improved skills have consistently delivered higher productivity levels down the years and will continue to do so. It is gratifying to be proved right and we thank everyone who supported MACH 2022 for their show of faith. Our hope now is that the industry can build on the momentum created and go from strength to strength.”

Although final figures are still being collated, footfall at MACH 2022 is predicted to be largely in line with the last live event in 2018, which considering current external factors is a considerable achievement. This despite the footprint of the show being reduced. One encouraging sign was that the number of visitors per square metre of exhibition space was up compared with 2018.

Another gratifying fact was the growth in the number of students visiting the show, especially in the Education & Development Zone, which was specifically designed to attract young people and to show them how rewarding a career in manufacturing can be.

While there was an absence of some international visitors caused by the lingering effects of the pandemic, the level of business transacted during the week-long event, while still being calculated, is expected to be significant, with many exhibitors reporting strong sales as a result of appearing at the show.

“A further indication of the newfound confidence surrounding the manufacturing technologies sector is that the MTA has sold more advance exhibition space for 2024 than for any preceding MACH event,” said Mr Selka.

“This is a significant development and underlines how important the MACH exhibition is to the industry and at a time when cost pressures on business are significant, such a show of support sends out a very positive message.”

MACH 2024 takes place at the NEC in Birmingham between 15-19 April 2024.