What have manufacturers missed most about in-person events? – Digital Manufacturing Week 2021

Live events are becoming more frequent following the easing of Covid 19 restrictions. Our manufacturing audience have expressed a desire to return to face-to-face events, with 82% of them recently stating that they feel comfortable attending. A selection of attendees at this year’s Digital Manufacturing Week spoke to us about what they’ve missed most from attending such events. You can meet some of the UK’s best manufacturers in-person, to network with and to discuss a host of issues facing manufacturers currently.

Digital Manufacturing Week 2021

Produced by The Manufacturer magazine, Digital Manufacturing Week is a national festival of advanced manufacturing which every year attracts thousands of manufacturers, industry leaders, and technology providers.

Every aspect of the week celebrates excellence: expert speakers, industry-shaping influencers, delegates from the best manufacturers, and the brightest emerging talent. We bring them together to help businesses at all stages of their Industry 4.0 development, arming them with real insights from the industry we have been at the heart of for over 25 years.

It is about learning, providing a showcase for the best of manufacturing, and also celebrating successes. Our two awards programmes – The Manufacturer Top 100 and MX Awards – honour the talented individuals and best-in-class companies that represent the top tier of the industry.

In-person events

In March 2021, previous attendees of Smart Factory Expo were surveyed to refine our existing understanding of the solutions they most want to see showcased. This was also done to gain deeper insights into visitor intentions for in-person events in the latter part of 2021 and beyond. 

It revealed a clear appetite for physical events, with 82% of our audience saying they are comfortable and intended to join us in person, at events this year.  

The survey also revealed that 85% of manufacturers have current investment plans, supporting the findings of The Manufacturer and IBM’s Digital Transformation Assessment released in February, that 67% of manufacturers have accelerated digital projects as a result of COVID-19.  

Respondents stated that researching solutions, seeing live demonstrations and face-to-face networking were the primary reasons that 82% want to return to in person events in 2021. 

Whilst digital events have done an excellent job at providing a virtual option for these interactions in 2020, this has not been without limitations. There is a strong desire to for people to “do business” face-to-face, and the serendipity of seeing technologies or meeting individuals that you are not searching for is very hard to replicate in a virtual environment. 

You can hear from some of the UK’s best manufacturers on this and a host of other topics at this year’s live event in Liverpool, by registering for free HERE