It was announced at the House of Lords on 19 February that Digital Manufacturing Week will return to Liverpool City Region from 14-16 November 2018. The official launch saw over 200 leading manufacturers, industry supporters and politicians gathering to see how the event was building on a hugely successful 2017 with the introduction of industry-leading new features. Digital Manufacturing Week is made up of a series of interlocking events – each of which is the largest in its space: Smart Factory Expo – grew by a third to 3,968 attendees in 2017, with exhibitors doubling to 100+ The Manufacturing Leaders Summit – grew by 56% to more than 600 delegates The Manufacturer Top 100 2018 – a 500-strong alumni community of UK manufacturing talent The Manufacturer MX Awards – the UK’s largest annual manufacturing awards, celebrating the Best of British industry Attendees to today’s launch event in the Palace of Westminster heard how Digital Manufacturing Week, working with the support of Liverpool City Region and key industry partners, was expanding the size of the exhibition floor by 50% in order to accommodate additional Visitor Zones, more Solution Theatres, and an expanded focus on Innovation Alley. “Last year we had to turn people away – we won’t be making that mistake again,” laughed Nick Hussey, CEO of Hennik Group, publishers of The Manufacturer magazine, and organisers of Digital Manufacturing Week. “We were delighted with the response of our audience of manufacturing directors to our decision to move to Liverpool City Region – and we are excited to share what we are doing to make the UK’s biggest digital manufacturing show even better.” Mandy Ridyard, finance director at produmax, said at the launch: “I am absolutely excited to be part of the Digital Manufacturing Week 2018, because I will get the chance to see the best of the best of the awards. “And I will get new ideas and see what is going on during the Smart Facotry Expo, and I will have the chance to listen to amazing key note speakers who will inform me which new innovative technologies and solutions are out there in the industries.” And Rebecca Turner, innovation and productivity manager at Communisis, commented: “I am absolutely convinced that the Digital Manufacturing Week 2018 will help the UK to get ahead of the curve. “At the moment, it seems that the UK is lagging behind, but with digital solutions, we will close that existing gap.” New features for SMART FACTORY EXPO 2018: Visitor Zones Six dedicated Visitor Zones group together exhibitors thematically, and help visitors meet with the companies most relevant to them: Industrial Automation, Internet of Things, Digital Transformation, Smart Factory, Manufacturing Innovation, and Industrial Data. Partner Districts Partner Districts help to showcase some of the world’s biggest tech companies’ partner ecosystems, allowing you to see which solutions are most integrated. Case Study Cafe Grab a comfy seat and a good coffee in our Case Study Cafe – and be inspired by a display of UK manufacturing success stories that take you on a digital manufacturing journey, while you rest your feet. The Business Show The Manufacturer magazine has been covering UK manufacturing for more than 20 years, and we have some of the brightest minds in UK media in our Editorial team. Come along and watch as we interview the great and the good of UK manufacturing about their successes and failures, quiz exhibitors about the digital manufacturing opportunity, and rope in passing show visitors to tell their story. Match/Makers Smart Factory Expo is launching an opt-in web networking platform, allowing visitors to set-up meetings with exhibitors and one another at the various meeting points on the show floor. If you are looking to be a part of the digital manufacturing community, and want to win a year’s subscription to The Manufacturer, make sure you sign-up! Manufacturing Tours Sign up for Smart Factory Expo, and apply for one of dozens of Manufacturing Tours to facilities in and around Liverpool. If you’re from out of town, take a look for yourself at the fabulous infrastructure the region has to offer – and some of the world-beating manufacturers taking advantage of it. Register to attend Smart Factory Expo for free The Manufacturing Leaders Summit This year’s event is bigger than ever – and more manageable. Ten conference streams feature UK and international manufacturing success stories – and provide delegates focused networking and learning opportunities: Leadership, Finance, Export Excellence, Innovation, Future Factory, Digital Transformation, Industrial Automation, Big Data, Talent Management and Supply Chain & Logistics. What’s new: Networking Lunches – Grab a sandwich, choose a zone, and get a guided group tour of the co-located Smart Factory Expo, starting and finishing in our dedicated VIP Lounge. Mentor Minutes – Opt in to our mentor/mentee matchmaking service, and pay it forward by giving five minutes of advice to the next generation of manufacturing talent. Manufacturing Tours – Delegates to Manufacturing Leaders Summit now get priority booking for dozens of Manufacturing Tours, organised on 13 – 16 November. ‘Hack and Pitch’ Competition – The UK’s most promising manufacturing technology start-ups will pitch their big ideas live to our audience of manufacturing leaders. But there can only be one ‘Rising Star’. You decide! If you lead a team and want to benefit from the hard-won experience of other successful manufacturers – register now!