Home: April - May 2008 › Infrarail sees big boost in visitor numbers
Infrarail sees big boost in visitor numbers
30/05/2008 | Channel:
Infrastructure, Rolling Stock, Freight, Health & Safety, Security, Skills & Training, Franchises, Business Improvement, New Products & Services, Station Development, Contracts
Nearly 4400 rail industry professionals visited the UK's definitive UK rail infrastructure event, Infrarail 2008 – representing a substantial increase of 34 per cent compared to the number attending the previous show in 2005
The provisional total of trade visitors to the exhibition, which took place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham from 11 to 13 March, was 4381 from 21 countries. Of these, two-thirds were of director or manager level, underlining the senior status of those attending. Contributing to this major rise in visitor numbers were several new features introduced successfully at the show.
A programme of half-hour seminar presentations by exhibitors in a theatre area set up within the exhibition hall proved highly popular, with standing room only at many sessions. Other associated activities that drew visitors to the exhibition included Rail Opportunities 2008, a programme of meetthe- buyer sessions organised on behalf of UK Trade & Investment, a meeting of the Rail Freight Group and a Networking Reception open to both exhibitors and visitors.
Infrarail 2008 was formally opened by Rail Minister Tom Harris, MP, who met many exhibitors during a subsequent tour of the show. Also taking part in the opening were Peter Henderson, Network Rail's group infrastructure director and executive director, Jeremy Candfield, director general of the Railway Industry Association, and Lord Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group.
Exhibitors totalled 205 from ten countries, 63 of them new to Infrarail. Among them were representatives of all sectors of the rail infrastructure market. A well-received highlight of the event was the installation of sections of track in the exhibition hall to enhance the display of railmounted equipment and products.
Feedback from exhibitors was very positive. Barry McMahon, managing director of Aspin Foundations, said: "Business done in the first two hours of Infrarail paid for our presence at the show. And during the exhibition overall, we recorded potential orders worth more than £25 million, with a lot of interest in our RRV-mounted Fambo pile-driving drop hammer."
Keith Wilson – technical sales manager - signalling at Balfour Beatty Rail Technologies, commented: "We were very impressed with the number and quality of leads, especially from Network Rail, with more people attending from that organisation than in previous years. There were also a lot of visitors from Metronet. With the recent acquisition of Laser Rail we now have a very diverse range of products and the show gave us a good opportunity to present these to key people in the industry."
And from the Department for Transport, Simon Vasey added: "Our stand was busy on all three days. Our presence at Infrarail enabled the DfT to answer questions on a wide range of topics – and not just those we had planned to. We especially welcomed the opportunity to influence suppliers and to answer their questions. And the Minister thoroughly enjoyed his visit to the show and the chance to meet many exhibitors."
This was the seventh Infrarail to be organised by Mack Brooks Exhibitions and the first to take place at the NEC. Exhibition director Richard Joslin commented: "We are more than pleased with the industry's response to this year's show and that we were able to attract the number and quality of visitors that made the event the success it was. Our efforts are now focused on building on this success ahead of next year's RAILTEX show in London."
RAILTEX 2009 takes place at Earls Court, London, from 10 to 12 March.