Apparently, as a supplier it’s bad form to have a favourite exhibition or to publicly disclose preferences in this industry.

Oh well.

The problem is that I couldn’t resist drawing up a list of exhibitions taking place this year that caught my attention whilst I scanned though my spreadsheets of UK and European exhibitions.

There were several reasons why these nine exhibitions made my list.

Some caught my attention because I have an inquisitive interest in their topic whilst others caught my attention because they are taking a different approach to the game.

Some, I know, are absolutely smashing it in terms of revenues and targets whilst others are simply at an interesting point in their lifecycle.

The majority of the exhibitions are launches, geo-clones or rebrands and can be added to my geek list of exhibitions that I like.

So it’s not a success list as such and there is no order to them. With that said, I do mention the one exhibition that interests me the most and that’s why it’s first in the list.

Here we go…


Money 20/20 Europe

Date:                4-7 April 2016

Venue:              Bella Center, Copenhagen

Organiser:        i2i Events Group


I can’t lie – this is the one that interests me the most. It’s all about fintech and the eco-system of money. It’s the first geo-clone of the massively successful US show. With more than 3,000 attendees (incl 1,000 CEOs) from 75 countries, 400 speakers and 120 sessions, it’s set to be one of the biggest exhibition launches of the year.


The subject is bang on trend as businesses and consumers look at different ways to manage, spend and borrow money. But it’s the eye-catching marketing of the event – it’s actually a tradeshow with a personality. It goes way, way, way beyond a cheap vector and a colour palette.



Automechanika Birmingham

Date:                7-9 June 2016

Venue:              NEC, Birmingham

Organiser:        Forest Exhibitions


I don’t know much about cars but I do know about exhibitions and any show that sells out five months prior to launch and has 550 exhibiting businesses is on to something. Originally it was due to fill one hall at the NEC but now occupies three which means more than 21,000sqm of petrol head space.


There are 15 other Automechanika events around the world and Forest Exhibitions are the cats bringing the Messe Frankfurt model to the UK. For the uninitiated Automechanika is the only UK show servicing the supply chain and aftermarket for the automotive industry.



Additive Manufacturing Europe

Date:                28-30 June 2016

Venue:              Amsterdam RAI

Organiser:        Tarsus Group


A few years ago, Tarsus jumped on a white-hot trend and purchased the 3D Printshow. I think even the owners would have confessed that the 3D Printshow was a rough diamond but now Additive Manufacturing is their new polished article. The problem with trends is that they have to start making money and 3D printing’s transition to additive manufacturing is that solution.


Tarsus has jumped on that as Additive Manufacturing Europe presents 3D printing solutions for the healthcare, aerospace and automotive industries. I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing a lot about the Additive Manufacturing Shows for years to come.



Countryfile Live

Date:                4-7 August 2016

Venue:              Blenheim Palace

Organiser:        SME London


Countryfile has been a cornerstone of Sunday BBC programming for just under 30 years and it’s only just now being monetised in live events – mind-boggling huh! BBC Worldwide have a good track record of converting great TV shows into money-spinning exhibitions with the likes of Clothes Show Live, Top Gear Live and the Good Food Shows.


This time they have picked SME London to deliver a quintessential British lifestyle show. It will be interesting to see how it rolls out and whether its stands out from the rabble of traditional game and countryside fairs, not least the recently resurrected CLA Game Fair.


Gamer Mania London

Date:                29-31 July 2016

Venue:              ExCeL, London

Organiser:        MCM Central



MCM Central is quietly smashing the consumer exhibition model. Actually, not so quietly. They regularly pull 100,000 paying visitors through the gates of their MCM Comic Con series of events and this type of success has given them a taste for accelerate growth.


Their new show Gamer Mania London taps into the hockey stick growth of the gaming industry and looks to fill the void after the highly successful EXG series moved out of the capital.



Brewing Equipment and Technology Show

Date:                18-19 May 2016

Venue:              NEC, Birmingham

Organiser:        Quartz Group


I like beer and I like exhibitions so this was always going to make the list. The brewing industry is undergoing a revolution at the moment with the unquenchable thirst for craft beer. Three new breweries are opening up in the UK every week and that makes this show a winner in my eyes.


Fair play to Quartz for launching this show as it sits outside its usual portfolio of chemical, aluminium and glass sectors. Maybe the established food/catering/hospitality organisers were slow out of the traps, or maybe they decided the model wasn’t there. Looks like we’ll find out in May.



UK Drone Show

Date:                3-4 December 2016

Venue:              NEC, Birmingham

Organiser:        UK Drone Show Ltd


Drones are another worldwide trending subject and it looks like this show is here to stay. Following on from a successful inaugural event last year, the organisers of the UK Drone Show have confirmed the 2016 follow up will be taking place at the NEC.


It could be tricky second album experience if consumer and press interest in drones wanes but I think that’s unlikely. It also looks like the organisers have also struck a deal to bring elements of the show to Farnborough International and their 80,000 visitor base. I wonder whether they’ll steal a march on fledging self-driving cars market?



PC Gamer Weekender

Date:                5-6 March 2016

Venue:              Old Truman Brewery, London

Organiser:        Future plc



Another gaming exhibition? Not quite. Future are the publishing kings of PC Gaming and the PC Gamer Weekender looks to exploit their huge PC playing audience.


Don’t confuse this with a generic gaming launch. It’s a very specific (but hefty) slice of the gaming pie and one that will be cranking through the gears on each and every edition.



New Scientist Live

Date:                25-26 September 2016

Venue:              ExCeL, London

Organiser:        Reed Business Information



Any exhibition which has a theme of ‘the universe’ is a winner for me. This new festival celebrates science and technology and showcases how they improve lives, shape societies and drive economic growth.


It may sound boring to a few of you but it sounds bang on to me. A quick glance at the content and it gives me the impression it’s the type exhibition I could visit and walk away with a hundred ideas for an exhibition launch. If it is half as good as the magazine – logic says it will be blinding.


There you go. That’s my watch list. What’s yours?


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