John Maguire, managing director of Narrow Aisle Ltd, explains why IMHX has always been an essential part of his company’s marketing mix.

For Narrow Aisle Ltd – manufacturer of the best-selling Flexi range of articulated forklift trucks– IMHX has always been an essential element in the marketing mix. “We have exhibited at every single IMHX since the show was launched back in 2001 and consider the event vital to our sales strategy,” says John Maguire, Narrow Aisle’s managing director. “We see IMHX as a wonderful opportunity to market our brand, showcase products, network with fellow industry partners and interact with customers and prospective clients directly,” he adds.

At the most recent show in 2019, Narrow Aisle used IMHX to launch what it describes as a ‘tour de force’ in articulated lift truck drivability and reliability – the Flexi ACiON and Flexi LiTHiON VNA lift truck collections.

John Maguire says: “The Flexi LiTHiON range is clean, quiet, powerful efficient and easy to drive and is proving to be a highly popular product with third party logistics service suppliers and manufacturers with warehouses who are looking to achieve maximum supply chain efficiency.”

Both models have gone on to be hugely successful in the global truck market – with demand for the lithium-ion powered Flexi LiTHiON range currently running at an all-time high.

John Maguire continues: “IMHX 2019 proved a great launch venue for the Flexi ACiON and LiTHiON. Our pre-show marketing generated a lot of interest in the trucks and, as soon as IMHX opened, visitors started to arrive at our stand to learn more about the products and discuss the operational benefits they could bring to their business. In fact, on the first day of the show we took a significant order and that set the tone for the rest of the week.

“We designed our stand around a dynamic presentation area where we could show the Flexi ACiON and LiTHiON in action and held product demonstrations throughout the exhibition. This ‘live’ aspect certainly increased buyer interest and helped us to generate a high number of leads.

“I would certainly advise all companies who are exhibiting at IMHX 2021 to incorporate thoughtful ways of engaging attendees that help visitors to learn more about the features and functions of your products and services. This will make both your products and your brand more memorable.”

The organisers of IMHX announced last year that the event was changing its cycle and increasing in frequency, to be held every two years – not every third year as had traditionally been the case. As an ‘IMHX regular’ John Maguire believes the event’s switch from a three-year to a two-year cycle is a welcome development. “Increasing the frequency of IMHX to every two years gives exhibitors more regular contact with key clients and new prospects, which has to be a good thing. It’s also better for the show’s many visitors who need to stay informed about the technical developments that are evolving so rapidly and having such an impact across today’s supply chains,” he says.

For many businesses, the timing of IMHX 2021, taking place between 14 – 16 September, will be opportune. “The timing of IMHX 2021 could be ideal for both exhibitors and visitors alike,” says John Maguire. “All industry sectors are grappling with two major ‘disruptors’ in the form of the Coronavirus pandemic and Brexit and the full extent of the impact that these two seismic events will have on the UK economy is, as yet, unknown,” he explains.

He continues: “While no one can say with any degree of certainty how the economic landscape will alter over the coming months, there seems to be optimism that the pandemic will at the very least be under control by next Autumn, while any issues relating to the flow of goods in to and out of the UK following Brexit will hopefully have settled down. September 2021 will be a perfect time for IMHX to support the UK logistics community as it strives to get back to ‘business-as-usual’ and a successful show will go a long way to reinvigorating the UK materials handling market.”

Despite the fact that IMHX 2021 is still over 12 months away, the Narrow Aisle team has started to plan the company’s presence at next year’s event. “At Narrow Aisle our commitment to research and development drives everything we do, so I have no doubt that significant advances in articulated truck-based intralogistics solutions design will once again feature prominently on our stand,” says John Maguire.

He adds: “IMHX has always been an exciting opportunity to interact with senior logistics professionals face-to-face and build lasting and more powerful business relationships, so in 2021 we will be going all out to make sure we make the most of it once again.”

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