Back with a bang!

Advanced Engineering’s show organisers Easyfairs says this year’s event is back with a bang in 2021, so what can you expect from this year’s show?


The UK’s largest annual gathering of engineering professionals, Advanced Engineering, will return to the NEC, Birmingham on November 3-4, 2021. Here, the UK’s talented and vast engineering industry can meet again for the first time in almost two years to do business, make new connections and discover innovation.

This year, there will be seven show zones: aerospace, composites, automotive, performance metals, connected manufacturing, medical devices and, new for 2021, space and satellite. Advanced Engineering UK hopes that having so many sectors under one roof will enable cross-industry collaboration and the formation of new business relationships after 18 months of limited interactions.

There will be four forums held during the two-day show, featuring some of the leading voices from engineering and manufacturing. A huge topic at the aerospace forum this year is decarbonising aviation. During the show, there will be presentations on electrification, zero-carbon aviation and hydrogen propulsion from the Aerospace Technology Institute, Rolls-Royce, Ampaire, ZeroAvia and ID TechEx. Supply chain management is a concern for many companies this year, so Advanced Engineering UK will welcome talks from Airbus UK and ADS on supplier expectations and supply chain excellence.

On day two, the forum will have a whole morning dedicated to space and satellite engineering, with talks from the UK Space Agency, Skyrora, D-Orbit UK and the Space Applications Catapult.

On the composites stage, visitors can find out more about what digitalisation means for composite manufacturing, the 3D printing of composite parts and how composites are enabling the UK’s move towards its net-zero carbon emissions targets. Composites UK CEO, David Bailey will return along with the National Composites Centre’s head of digital engineering, Marc Funnell. BAE Systems and Transport for London will also take to the stage.

During the connected manufacturing forum, Ian Gardner, Industry 4.0 and Oracle Specialist at IBM and Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, will deliver keynote speeches. They’ll be supported by speakers from the Connected Places Catapult, Brunel University London and IoT North, to name a few. 

As well as its impressive speaker programme, Advanced Engineering UK will be supported by some of the world’s key industry associations, such as The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Composites UK, Make UK, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, GAMBICA, BARA and the Department for International Trade, all of whom now feature as trade body partners.

Advanced Engineering UK is the go-to show for anyone wanting to meet the world’s leading engineering companies, plus the UK’s most innovative start-ups, thanks to the return of the show’s Enabling Innovation zone, supported by Innovate UK. Here, ten chosen start-ups will have the opportunity to showcase their ground-breaking product or technology, before presenting it to a panel of esteemed judges for the chance of winning a stand at next year’s show.

The show already has several exciting features confirmed, including an original prototype of the ExoMars rover, created by Airbus Defence and Space. The rover, commonly known as Bruno, is semi-autonomous and equipped with all the same technology as the final rover, including the sensors, actuators and cameras that allow the rover to see in 3D while navigating Mars. Advanced Engineering UK’s new show zone dedicated entirely to space and satellite innovation will be Bruno’s landing site for the show, and can be found in the existing Aero Engineering floor.

Advanced Engineering offers a great opportunity to meet suppliers, partners and generate business leads for the first time in over a year. Already, the show’s exhibitor space is 90% sold out – a sign that our industry is eager to come together again. In 2019, over 10,000 professionals from the manufacturing sector attended Advanced Engineering. 70% of visitors reported that they planned to place orders as a result of the relationships formed and an impressive 93% of exhibitors reported that they achieved their objectives at the show.

This year, Advanced Engineering UK is also relaunching AE Connect, a digital platform that is used to schedule meetings ahead of the show. In 2019, the platform was used to schedule 588 meetings, which generated an average order value of £200,000 per meeting held. After 18 months of limited in-person meetings, it’s understandable that businesses might not have as many connections as they usually would by this time of year. AE Connect allows both exhibitors and visitors to make the most of their time at the show by filling their diaries with valuable meetings beforehand.

The portal is designed to be very user-friendly. Registered exhibitors receive login credentials to AE Connect, where they can share information about their products and services. Exhibitors can also specify their ideal target audience, as well as their goals during the show.

The smart platform uses this data to find potential matches, allowing exhibitors to contact them to arrange meetings during the show. Meetings can take place in a dedicated lounge area, or directly at the exhibitor’s stand. Exhibitors can also use the platform as a calendar, blocking out periods when they’d like to attend conferences and therefore won’t be available for meetings.

“Advanced Engineering UK marks the return to face-to-face business, which the UK has been craving since March 2020,” explained Alison Willis, director at Easyfairs, the organiser of Advanced Engineering. “The show offers the UK’s engineering industry the chance to get together again, do business and discover the innovative technologies and products that have been created in the past year.”


Easyfairs [**]

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