Comment

22.11.16

Keen industry response to Railtex 2017

Source: RTM Oct/Nov 16

Kirsten Whitehouse, exhibition manager at Mack Brooks Exhibitions, provides a round-up of what is on offer at the thirteenth edition of Railtex.

The countdown is well underway for Railtex, the UK’s major exhibition of railway products and services, which returns to the NEC in Birmingham from 9-11 May next year. 

And with a little over seven months until the show opens its doors, there has been a flurry of activity from exhibitors keen to secure their stand location of choice. By early October more than 220 companies had signed up to guarantee their presence at the event – an early indication that this promises to be another great Railtex. 

Alstom Transport, Hitachi Rail Europe and Siemens are among the major industry participants already planning to exhibit, together with Faiveley Transport, Knorr Bremse Rail UK, Unipart Dorman, Voith Turbo and Wabtec. They are joined by firms specialising in diverse essential products for the entire rail market, ranging from trackside drainage systems to vehicle lifting equipment for rolling stock depots. The latest list of exhibitors can be accessed at: www.railtex.co.uk/exhibitor-list. 

Several features of the show will be reassuringly familiar. British Steel is sponsoring and equipping the Track display area, which enables exhibitors to present track-related equipment and machines in an authentic setting. Space to display larger items of plant such as RRVs is provided at the Yard, a dedicated part in the main hall, with preferential rates on offer for exhibitors. And a section of the exhibition is assigned to the Rail Alliance Hub, giving members of that organisation an enhanced presence.

Keynote speeches 

Railtex visitors and exhibitors can also expect a very strong programme of supporting activities. Full details will be announced closer to the show, but there will again be the daily keynote speeches from industry leaders that have always drawn large audiences. These will take place in the Seminar Theatre, also the setting for exhibitor presentations covering developments in rail technology. A second venue in the exhibition hall, the Knowledge Hub, will host a programme of project updates, industry briefings and interactive discussion forums throughout the show. All will be free to attend as usual. 

With nearly 10% more floor space occupied than in 2013, Railtex 2015 was the biggest of these events for more than a decade, bringing together 468 exhibitors and representing a complete cross-section of the industry. Many said the show exceeded their expectations, citing significant successful business transactions and connections. The event attracted an impressive audience of nearly 7,500 visiting industry professionals, with a further 2,700 present as exhibitors. The latter figure is significant too, as much business takes place between exhibitors. The Railtex organisers will again offer a free Business Matching Service to ensure good quality and quantity meetings and networking opportunities for all attendees. 

Industry support 

Railtex is supported by key organisations shaping the future of the industry in the UK, including Network Rail. Representing the supply sector are the Railway Industry Association, the Rail Alliance and the Rail Supply Group. Also endorsing the event is the Department for International Trade, reflecting the government’s increased focus on exporting the UK’s railway products and expertise. 

The enthusiastic response we have seen from the industry points to another great show at the NEC. There has been strong demand for stands, and we have already allocated 18% more space than at the same stage for Railtex 2015. 

This is an exciting time for rail in the UK, with plenty of business opportunities for companies offering the right products. Railtex provides a unique showcase for those firms, as well as for exhibitors keen to export. Around 10% of visitors to the 2015 show were from overseas and this will be an important part of our promotion for the 2017 event. 

Registration for a free visit to Railtex 2017 will open via www.railtex.co.uk in early 2017. In the meantime, check the website for an option to receive updates with the latest show news.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

W: www.railtex.co.uk

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