The Manufacturer Live: uniting manufacturers, inspiring innovation, celebrating success

Posted on 13 Jul 2023 by The Manufacturer

The Manufacturer Live, taking place in November, is the annual gathering of the most senior executives of the manufacturing industry, where delegates will share knowledge, celebrate success, reconnect and grow their networks. 

Each year, the industry migrates to Liverpool to enjoy a series of award-winning events produced by The Manufacturer that champion the sector, promote innovation and recognise achievement. 

This year, The Manufacturer Live runs 1415 November at The Exhibition Centre, Liverpool. From the super-focused discussions of The Manufacturer Directors’ Forum and Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit, to the lively dancefloor of TMMX Awards and the celebratory fanfare of the Top 1,000 Hall of Fame, there’s a variety of activities to suit everyone. 

Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit 

The summit is the annual gathering of top-tier industry visionaries, senior executives, decision-makers and thought leaders within the manufacturing ecosystem. They converge for two days of talks and meetings to share knowledge, celebrate success and address common challenges that are shaping the industry today. 

From CEOs to manufacturing, operations and supply chain VPs, directors, managers and decision makers at every level, this practical, how-to educational programme will show you where the gaps are that you can exploit, and more importantly, how you can exploit them. Our expert speakers and discussion leaders will talk you through the steps required to transform and futureproof your manufacturing business for the next decade. 

Over the course of the two-day summit, four rounds of discussion sessions will take place each day, with delegates having the opportunity to choose from a range of topics that matter to them. Each 60-minute interactive Q&A will be hosted by a world-class manufacturer and a technology expert. 

The roundtable discussion format will enable delegates to exchange insights and experiences with fellow industry leaders to uncover strategies to drive business growth, maximise operational efficiency and embrace the digital revolution.  

Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit – Delegates participating in a round table discussion.

The summit will be split into two streams: the Enterprise Stream (manufacturers over £100m revenue) and Growth Stream (manufacturers under £100m revenue). 

Conference Production Manager, Ashley Oulton, commented: “I am delighted to be hosting the 15th Annual Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit. As leaders in large manufacturing companies, you understand the importance of staying ahead in a rapidly evolving landscape. The summit will provide a platform for you to share mutual challenges and explore innovative solutions. Our focus will revolve around key areas such as creating a data-driven business, implementing and optimising digitalisation, and recruiting and developing digital talent. 

“The feedback we have received over the past years has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s evident that the delegates truly value the innovative and interactive roundtable discussion session format we have implemented.  

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see how much the attendees appreciate the opportunity to sit down with their peers, engage in meaningful discussions and collectively overcome mutual challenges. As we embark on this milestone event, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the valuable knowledge-sharing, networking and problem-solving that will take place. Together, we will continue to drive the manufacturing industry forward and shape its future success.” 

Commenting on Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit 2022, Natalie Watson, Group Head of Sustainability, The Vita Group, said: “The Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit was rich in content and discussion and really thought provoking on how we can accelerate the rate of change needed to meet the demands of the future – with sustainability and innovation front and centre.” 

Confirmed speakers include: 

  • David Holmes, Manufacturing Director, BAE Systems  
  • Joe Rumer, Digital Analytics Lead – Manufacturing Excellence, Inovyn 
  • Neil Anderson, Managing Director, Caterpillar  
  • Davis Forrest, Digital Innovation Lead, Nissan  
  • Priscila Urena, Operational Excellence Business Manager, Arrival  
  • Derek O’Neil, Stamping Operations Manager, Jaguar Land Rover 

Confirmed sponsors include: 

The Manufacturer Excellence (TMMX) Awards 

In partnership with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), TMMX Awards exist to encourage, benchmark and celebrate manufacturing excellence, with every stage of the programme providing value for participants, whatever their excellence maturity. 

With TMMX Awards categories ranging from recognition in innovation and sustainability, through to apprenticeships, leadership and staff engagement, there are plenty of opportunities for UK businesses of all sizes and sectors to be recognised. 

The awards’ criteria, judging process and finalist entries are peer reviewed by volunteers from across the industrial spectrum. The judging panel have an enormous wealth of experience of the sector and of the awards programme, and provide valuable feedback and guidance throughout the process.

The Manufacturer MX Awards – 2022 overall winners Gripple celebrating their win.

Gordon Macrae, Special Projects Manager at Gripple (winner of Manufacturer of the Year 2022), said: “The TMMX Awards are the most prestigious manufacturing awards in the country. The entry process and judging criteria are, quite rightly, rigorous and the judges really do put you to the test when they visit, but we are so pleased with the feedback we received and will use this to continually improve our operations.”  

Confirmed sponsors include


  • RS UK & Ireland


  • Achieving Customer Value: SugarCRM
  • Leadership & Strategy: MHP
  • Product Innovation & Design: Autodesk
  • Supply Chain Excellence: JLR

Top 1,000 Hall of Fame Networking Party 

The Manufacturer Top 100 is the annual showcase of the individuals who go that extra mile in their work. Nominated by their peers and judged by an expert panel, they represent the very best of the UK manufacturing industry.  

The Manufacturer Top 100 celebrates the heroes of UK manufacturing and recognises their contribution to Net Zero, Digital Transformation, Innovation and Leadership. We shine a spotlight on Unsung Heroes, Sector Activists and the Young Pioneers making an impact in the industry disproportionate to their years. 

The Manufacturer Top 100 winners enjoying a celebratory drink at last year’s ceremony.

Now in its tenth year, this industry-leading programme of recognition hits a milestone; 1,000 members of the Top 100 Alumni. The November event will bring the last decade together with as many of the whole alumni as possible meeting for an evening of catch-up, progress, celebration and networking. 

John Patsavellas, Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University, said: “At Cranfield we understand the algebra of accomplishment includes celebrating success while spotlighting real-world manufacturing role models. That is why we have been a long-term sponsor and supporter of The Manufacturer Top 100.  

“Over the years this award has become the de facto honour of excellence-in-action and we rejoice to see so many of our graduates and affiliates among the UK’s best. The Top 100 is now firmly embedded in the pantheon of achievements for UK manufacturing professionals and will continue to be the ultimate recognition for our sector’s talent.” 

The Manufacturer Director’s Forum  

The forum is an invitation-only group of senior executives from The Manufacturer‘s community that meet regularly for roundtable discussions. These exclusive, upscale dinners facilitate confidential conversations on leading a manufacturing business in today’s climate. Networking, sharing ideas and exchanging experiences with peers make these events invaluable. 

These forums are co-hosted by The Manufacturer and our strategic partners and are formatted as candid discussions about the realities of running manufacturing businesses in today’s climate. 

Previous forum topics have included unlocking business value, adapting business models for a post-pandemic world, growth challenges for manufacturing businesses and building a greener, leaner, resilient supply chain. Further information on the subject areas of this year’s forums will be announced in the coming months.

A recent Directors’ Forum dinner.

“Attending Directors’ Forum sessions has allowed me to grow my professional network and helped benchmark and understand the challenges of my peers.” Head of Business Intelligence, Rolls Royce. 

Grace Gilling, managing director of Hennik Research (part of Nineteen Group and publishers of The Manufacturer), said: “2023 has marked a change in The Manufacturer’s calendar of activity for our audience. Smart Factory Expo moved to June as a core component of Manufacturing & Engineering Week, alongside our technology-focussed Digitalisation Summit.

“For the second half of the year, we return to Liverpool on 13 – 15 November for the rebranded The Manufacturer Live, featuring our two longest standing flagship events: Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit and The Manufacturer MX Awards ceremony and gala dinner, alongside our exclusive Directors’ Forum dinners and breakfasts, and our Top 1,000 Hall of Fame networking party.

“The series of events are designed for senior leadership teams, with content covering the broad spectrum of subjects that manufacturing executive teams are prioritising to grow their businesses in the current climate. The application of technology of course remains a central theme as an enabler of business growth, alongside innovation, sustainability, operational management, data management and analytics, talent management and engagement, and customer retention and growth.”

Discover the activities that might be of most interest to you: The Manufacturer Live.