One of the most exciting aspects of 2010 has been the Inspiring IMHX event at the NEC, Birmingham, in November. The event, which takes place every three years was originally scheduled for its usual date of March, but after careful consideration we decided, in line with our partners, to move the event to later in the year. Hosting the event in November turned out to be the right decision as many companies within the industry would not have been in a position earlier in the year to either exhibit or as users be in a position to consider future orders, due to the economic climate.

Indeed, as the year progressed, so did the economy, and therefore November’s event was seen by many as an opportunity to take stock and look once again to the future. The event felt very much like business as usual with the exhibition boasting a full contingent of exhibitors and a strong visitor presence. Many exhibitors while writing this piece are continuing to report excellent orders from a high profile of customers who attended. Already advance bookings for  IMHX 2013 are being concluded, so future signs are positive, but of course we must treat them with caution.

In terms of actual numbers, for exhibitors, we achieved a complete sell out of all three halls, with over 350 individual stands sold and occupying no less than 24,000 square metres at the NEC.

In terms of visitors, we saw pre-registrations up nearly 10% compared with the previous event in 2007, and welcomed thousands of logistics, materials handling and storage professionals through the doors. Our VIP Valet Parking scheme was a massive hit, attracting over 1,000 senior decision makers to enjoy the luxury of driving to the door and walking straight into the exhibition. And our charity dinner, held on Thursday 18th November, raised thousands of pounds for Help for Heroes.

The IMHX event also allowed us the opportunity to stage the Design 4 Safety Awards, which we created in collaboration with event partner Quartz Publishing & Exhibitions Ltd. The awards highlight the importance of safety product design features in helping to ensure safe materials handling operations.

Entry levels for the awards were strong with over 10% of exhibitors at IMHX contributing across the full spectrum of materials handling and logistics disciplines. Judging took place in two stages: first, a panel of independent industry specialists, drawn from the media, the HSE and various industry bodies, voted to elect three finalists in each category. Second, another panel, including health and safety practitioners from prominent UK companies and organisations, voted again to decide the winners.

There were four categories: Automation, Industrial Trucks, Racking & Storage, and Technology, to which Transdek, Toyota Material Handling UK, Sentry, and Cooper, won respectively. Of the four winners, exhibition delegates were asked to vote by ballot on their overall ‘popular’ winner, which was claimed by Toyota Material Handling UK for their BT Pro Lifter hand Pallet Truck.


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