Despite the rise of the Internet and all things virtual, trade shows remain highly popular. With the key players in an industry gathered under one roof, exhibitions provide a time-saving overview of everything that's new. In the distribution industry, this means that visitors can quite literally 'kick the tyres' on a whole host of vehicles and other equipment.
Attending an exhibition will improve your business
If there's one thing that today's executive is short of, it's time. So a day out of the office travelling to an exhibition seems a big ask. However, Britain's trade shows are doing well – despite the state of the economy – and the reason is quite simple: investing a day at an exhibition can be a very efficient use of time and has the potential to transform a business. In addition to discovering brand-new products and services, you can network with fellow executives in the industry and attend a seminar or two, as there is generally a conference alongside the show. So what are the key UK events in the distribution industry?
"Post-show, 74% of visitors viewed events as the best marketing as you can interact and compare to others." Association of Event Organisers
Don't miss these key events for the distribution sector…
Commercial Vehicle Show – 29 April to 1 May 2014, NEC
Each industry tends to have one dominant show and in the road freight distribution industry it's the Commercial Vehicle Show. Taking place annually at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre (NEC), it attracts over 18,000 visitors. Operators from across the UK come to see trucks, vans and all types of trailers, as well as handling equipment, insurers, tyres, telemetry, training providers, fuels and lubricants.
Multimodal – 29 April to 1 May 2014, NEC
In 2014, Multimodal will be co-located with the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC. With an emphasis on sea, rail and air transport, as well as road freight, Multimodal is a one-stop-shop for shippers who wish to find ways of optimising their supply chain.
TOC Container Supply Chain: Europe – 24-26 June 2014, ExCel London
A rival show to Multimodal, TOC Container Supply Chain: Europe will be held next June at the ExCel London. As a global, port-centric container supply chain event, this show is another key meeting place for the world's shipping, port and terminals industries. The 2014 show will feature a new event, Port Centric Logistics, as part of the wider show.
TCS&D –18 & 19 September 2013, Peterborough Arena
Those companies involved in temperature-controlled distribution can find specialist solutions at the Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution (TCS&D 2013) exhibition, which takes place at the Peterborough Arena on 18 & 19 September this year. This show is focused on the needs of logistics professionals in the frozen and chilled supply chain – principally perishable foods and pharmaceuticals.
IMHX – 13-16 September 2016, NEC
The International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) is a show from the same organiser as TCS&D 2013 and takes place at the NEC once every three years. This vast show pulls in almost 20,000 visitors and showcases a wide range of equipment for the modern warehouse and logistics network – including exhibits from all the major forklift truck companies. The next IMHX takes place at the NEC from 13-16 September 2016.
There are also a number of smaller material handling shows that take place, including Logistics Link North at Doncaster each October, Logistics Link Live at the NEC each June and Logistics Link South at Sandown Park each February.
In addition to these trade shows, there are some other events that can prove useful sources of information for transport operators and haulage firms. The Freight Transport Association organises a number of these, including Transport Manager, held at multiple venues throughout the UK; the Van Excellence Conference; Fleet Engineer; and the Scottish Supply Chain Conference.