The overwhleming majority of visitors who the Furniture & Joinery Production team spoke with during the four day event in October were positive and very pleased with the time they spent at the show. Exhibitors too, in the main, were very pleased with their performance at the event, many rating rating as the best ever!

Of course, it is easy to look at an event and see room for improvement, but I know I am not alone in applauding the efforts of the of the event director, Lisa Campagnola, and her team at Montgomery for continuing to develop the exhibition in a positive and healthy productive manner.

Here’s what the some of the exhibitors thought of the show: 

From the 27-30th September 2020, the W Exhibition will take place in halls 18, 19 and 20 of Birmingham’s NEC and it’s set to occupy almost 24,000 sq m. Some 50% of the floor space has already been sold but with 20% more available for 2020, there is still chance to sign up and present your products to the UK’s furniture design and manufacturing markets. 

Luke Thomson, MD, Intelligent Fixings: “The W Exhibition been completely off the scale for us. It’s surpassed any expectations we had. We’re a very new fixings company and we had originally decided to make 10 million components to start with but we’re now looking at producing between 50 to 80 million components because of the interest we’ve had at this show alone. It’s been unbelievable.” 

Matthew Applegarth, MD, Felder UK: “The show has been brilliant for us. We’ve sold almost every machine on our stand and at least two thirds of our showroom. We still have orders to work through and we’ve made some fantastic leads – this is what we have come to expect from exhibiting at the W Exhibition. Every year our stand is getting bigger because the return is there for us. In 2016 our stand was 600 sq m. We increased this number to 900 sq m for 2018 and we have already provisionally booked over 1000 sq m for 2020.” 

Matthew Glanfield, technical team manager, Blum UK: “There’s been a real buzz surrounding the show and the volume of visitors has been very satisfying. The Blum cinema was a rather abstract concept and one that was new to us but the whole concept has been really well received. “It’s been a great way of getting visitors to learn about Blum and what we offer and, after watching our film, it has led to people talking openly with us about our products and how we can work together. It’s been a great success.” 

Andy Walsh, sales director, Daltons Wadkin: “This year the show was been reassuringly profitable for us when Brexit is looming. We’ve taken a new slant on stand design for 2018. We wanted to create a really eye-catching stand and visually it’s very appealing when faced with a sea of machines. “The light open space, trees, artwork and greenery on the stand have proven very welcoming and we’ve engaged with more people because of it. It’s been a superb show and we’re looking forward to 2020.”

Steve Bulmer, MD of Biesse UK: “The show has been a great success for us this year and our decision to invest in a larger stand has been a good one. It’s been our best show ever. We were also immensely proud to win the Elements of Innovation Award for our VIET Opera R robotised sanding machine. “We are also celebrating our 25th anniversary in the UK, so it’s been great to see both new customers as well as those that we have been working with since the UK subsidiary was founded.”

Martina Schwarz, international sales and marketing manager, CAD+T: “We exhibited for the first time in 2016 and we had a great response from the UK market. This year, we have been blown away by the number of leads we’ve had from our latest software solutions for the interior design and furniture manufacturing market. So much so that we’ve booked an even bigger stand for 2020.” 

John Wilson, MD, Ferwood UK: “The show has been good for us. We’ve constantly been talking to customers – including some of the biggest names in the UK – so the calibre of visitors has been very high indeed.” 

David Thompson-Rowlands, MD, RW Machines: “2018 has been a great show for RW Machines. From the initial build process through to the doors opening on day one, the organisation has been superb. We’ve experienced high quality visitors on our stand every day and as well as sales, we’ve got some fantastic leads. We’re already looking forward to 2020.” 

Gabrielle De Col, MD, SCM UK: “We’ve been really pleased with this year’s show and the feedback we’ve been given from visitors. Demand to see our latest machines and new digital system in action has been very high. We now have to collate the data and follow up on the success of the show.” 

Matt Pearce, managing director, TM Machinery Sales: “The W Exhibition has always been an important event for us. Footfall on our stand has been continuously high throughout the show and the interest we’ve received on our range of Striebig vertical panel saws and ALKO dust extraction systems has been strong. We’re looking forward to the show being in new halls in 2020 and we’ve already booked our new stand space.” 

Rafael Gomez, sales manager, Lamello AG: “This is the first year we have had a dedicated Lamello stand at the W Exhibition and it’s certainly paid off. Our team have been performing tool demonstrations continuously throughout the show because of the interest our joining systems have recieved from visitors. Lead generation has also been really strong and we look forward to exhibiting in 2020.” 

What the visitors said: 

David Robinson, MD, Perfair Fragrances: “As a designer, I am visiting the W Exhibition to learn about the latest product offerings available. When it comes to manufacturing my designs, I need to know what I can achieve when using each machine and their limitations. Who better to ask than the machinery manufacturers themselves? Having the Elements show run alongside this has also opened my eyes to new finishes and techniques I haven’t seen before. It’s been a great experience.”

Phil Dalton, group operations manager, Decorative Panels Group: “Not only do we get to see some excellent new machinery coming to market but the W Exhibition is a great opportunity for us to network with our customers, suppliers and fellow industry professionals.”

Richard Carleton, Creative Event Support Ltd: “We are really enjoying the show. We work in live events and we are looking at CNCs and edgebanders that can help us create live stages and sets. “This is our first time here. It was recommended by some carpenters we work with. They suggested that this was the only place to look for new equipment. There are not any shows specific to our industry that give us access to such a large range of machinery and equipment in one area.”

Mick Barskyj, Jaguar Land Rover: “We are here with a specific aim and we are looking at products from the Elements side of the show to help with prototype development. The car manufacturing world is continually evolving, not only in the engines but also the aesthetic finish. The show is well laid out and everyone has been really informative.”

Top tweets

Appleby Woodturning @ApplebWoodturns - Great day at W18. So good to be able to put names to faces and to make new contacts. To everyone who had a stand, hats off to you. It was a thrilling event full of incredible technology and innovation.”

Lawcris Panels @Lawcris1982 - “Epic is the word to describe the W Exhibition. The W Exhibition didn’t let us down – we are so impressed with the organisation and the impressive machinery we got to feast our eyes on. Great day, great show.

Toolfix Supplies @Toolfixsupplies - “Great day here at #W18, immersing ourselves in all of the latest innovations coming to the joinery industry. New things coming!” 

Clinical Cabinets @ClinicalCabnts - Just arrived @W_Exhibition for 2 full days of exploring and advancing our skills, materials, machinery & knowledge in all things furniture manufacturing.

Greg Cox  @madebygregcox - #W18 bound. Train beers in my bag. Credit card is on my person, eeeeeeeekkkkk. Hopefully it doesn’t come out!

LDL Components @LDL_online - Here are a few of our favourite aspects of the #W18 Elements Exhibition! A #Blum popcorn stand, a Masterwood dinosaur, and a sleek Tool Tec motorbike, style and innovation was everywhere. Roll on the next one!