6 Jun 2014

This year’s National Manufacturing Week (NMW) - May 13-16 in Sydney - delivered solid outcomes for participants, with more than 300 exhibiting companies making new links within Australia's fast-changing manufacturing industry. Preliminary figures reveal that around 6,300 trade visitors attended NMW 2014, taking advantage of a host of new features to build very strong links with industry suppliers. A notable feature of NMW's visitor base was the high quality of visitors. Over 40% of visitors were executives with purchasing power: representing an increased ratio of decision-makers in the visitor mix.

This group included engineers and Directors/CEOs/GMs/Owners and equivalent from Government, Defence, the resources sector and other large-budget organisations through to innovative smaller businesses seeking out high-value new technologies. Also notable was the success of new programs put in place for NMW 2014, to spark closer interaction between exhibitors and visitors.

In the first instance, the popular NMW Solutions Theatres provided a rolling program of discussions on strategies for boosting innovation, productivity and speed to market. As well as offering new ideas, the presentations - from 35 experts across four different hubs on the exhibition floor - set a pace that meant visitors ultimately covered more ground and were able to engage with more exhibitors at the event. NMW also saw the introduction of One-to-One Meetings, which gave exhibitors and potential buyers the opportunity to be paired for focused discussions.

Some 60 meetings were held, resulting in solid leads for exhibitors including Russell Brinkworth from Leussink Engineering. "I had opportunities for several meetings - and one, in particular, was just outstanding. I was able to meet with the GM of Production of a company that has 12 welding bays, and who commented that our gear solved all his problems with fixture changes. He's someone who might not have stumbled across Leussink without the meetings service - and for our company, he's a great new lead," Brinkworth commented. A major Networking Event at the end of Day 1 (May 13) plus two Speed Networking sessions in the Solutions Theatres - brought dozens of participants face-to-face, resulting in some stellar connections. Among contacts made were with buyers from a major Defence organisation, visiting NMW to scope new ideas and suppliers.

NMW 2014 also introduced a Passport Competition, through which visitors collected details from 10 nominated exhibitors in order to enter a draw to win a trip for 2 to Fiji. The delighted winner of the competition, Harry Pannekoek of WA-based Swivelpole (makers of high-safety lighting) noted that he had flown in with 4 of the company's directors and spent several days researching new ideas at this year's event. Ultimately, many NMW 2014 exhibitors met customers that they hadn't yet - or hadn't even considered - making contact with.

Among them was Pacific Urethanes, whose MD, Owen Stam commented, "We saw NMW 2014 as a good opportunity to boost our profile in NSW - and we've certainly done that. We've made some good contacts, including with companies from markets I would never have thought of - for instance, for an application in mobile dog-washing vans. NMW has been well worth the investment." NMW Exhibition Director, Anthony Reed comments that NMW, as the only event that brings different sectors of industry together under one roof, has once again helped create real opportunities for participants. "It is always fantastic to see people from so many different industry sectors making new connections and talking about new ideas. There was a real buzz across NMW 2014 - which I am sure will translate into real opportunities in the weeks and months ahead," Reed said.

Reed Exhibitions has announced that NMW 2015 will take place in Melbourne from 26-29 May, co-located with Austech and the SMART Supply Chain & Logistics Conference & Expo. NMW 2015 is expected to draw strong visitor numbers, and a record number of industry's leading players have already booked exhibition space at the event.

For more information about participating in NMW 2015, contact  or visit