Stepping into the spotlight

May 1, 2019

As the North East gears up for the 12th annual EMCON expo, David Land from the Engineering and Manufacturing Network (EMN) looks at how the region has evolved to one that’s proud to shout about its successes and showcase the many reasons why we’ve become a global force to be reckoned with

Over the years, our region has established itself as an international leader within the engineering and manufacturing sectors.

Many of our companies are renowned globally for the goods they produce, which are often exported to all corners of the world, while the innovative research and development conducted right here in the North East is putting us at the forefront of global scientific, technological and chemical breakthroughs.

Alongside that, we’ve got international companies including Hitachi, Nissan, Caterpillar, Gestamp, ZF, SABIC and Huntsman, to name but a few, which are growing right here in the region – and that’s enabling smaller firms within their supply chain to win work and expand as a result.

For too long we as a region were reluctant to shine the spotlight on our achievements, instead choosing to remain under the radar. However, in recent years, we’ve begun to embrace our capabilities and strengths, and thus events like EMCON have become of huge importance to the thousands of businesses that represent the North East’s engineering and manufacturing industries.

The event – delivered by the EMN – brings hundreds of people together from a diverse range of sectors and it is recognised as being a shop window for companies of all sizes, who can showcase their products and services to potential customers and suppliers.

It is also a proven platform for exhibitors and attendees to form relationships and generate contracts, both for the short and long-term.

The perfect example of that is E-max Systems, which this year has come on board as a sponsor after exhibiting for many years.

During that time, the company has won more than £170,000 of new business, which is fantastic, and it return in a supporting capacity for the 2019 event is testament to the value the team places on EMCON.

Another example at the smaller end of the scale is specialist training company NCG Solutions, an exhibitor within the Durham Business Opportunities Programme Incubator Zone, which is aimed specifically at smaller companies or those that have never exhibited previously.

On the day of the event last year, owner Ian Nelson was approached by an apprenticeship deliverer which was keen to have NCG deliver some sessions for them. Later in the day a call was made, the work agreed and less than a month later the contract was delivered.

These are just two examples and we know from feedback year-on-year there are many more companies who have seen their portfolios grow thanks to work won at our event.

As a region we are so proud of our achievements and are now being much more proactive when it comes to saying, ‘look at us, look at the great things we’re doing’ and celebrating our successes.

And why shouldn’t we? We’re a small region that is certainly punching above its weight and long may that continue.

EMCON will take place on October 10, 2019 at Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe.
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