Montgomery Group, the organiser of W Exhibition, the UK’s flagship event for the manufacturing and joinery industries, has revealed unprecedented levels of visitor appetite for its 6-9th February, 2022 show.

When the W Exhibition opens its doors at the NEC next February, it is anticipating record levels of visitor numbers as it brings the industry back together for the first time since 2018. 

Visitor registration figures are tracking at more than 250% above the numbers for the same point in the campaign for 2018. Montgomery has also observed a broadening of the types of people who have registered to visit the exhibition, with over 500 registering in one week alone in September.

The top job function for those who have pre-registered to visit the event include joiners, furniture manufacturers, cabinet makers, carpenters and buyers. The broad mixture of categories spans right through to fitters, CAD designers and retailers. 

Furniture manufacturing (18.85%) remains the top of pre-registered visitors’ main company activity, closely followed by cabinet makers (13.63%), joiners (12.83%) and general woodworkers (12.83). Door, window, staircase and kitchen manufacturers also feature prominently amongst visitors with circa 10% citing these as primary business activities.

Whilst machinery (13.19%) is a key area of interest for those who have registered to visit the show, this features comparatively to tooling (10.63%), timber boards and materials (10.08%), finishing products (9.97%), fittings and fixtures (8.75%) … all indicating that visitors are seeking a broad mixture of products and not just running machinery as previous figures might have indicated.

The W Exhibition typically attracts 10,000 visitors across the four days of the show. A large proportion of those who have registered to visit are budget holders, with over 20% of these holding a purchasing authority of circa £50,000. 

Speaking about the encouraging visitor data, W Exhibition managing director, Nickie West comments: “It’s hugely encouraging to see such strong appetite for the W Exhibition, as reflected in the high number of visitors who have pre-registered much earlier in our campaign. With no industry event since 2018, it’s time to get back together and reconnect. 

“I’m always eager to dig deeper into our visitor data and have been encouraged by the breadth of interest we have received from various job functions. But what I am most excited to see within the data is the broadening breadth of the areas of interest from our pre registered visitors. It’s far from being isolated to just the big running machinery that people want to see – which has traditionally been viewed as the sole attraction, whilst still showing as a significant pull – there is a new and growing appetite for tooling, timber boards and materials, finishing products and fittings. 

“Historically, the W Exhibition has been dominated by a small number of large brands occupying lots of space on the show floor. However, this model has often left visitors with fewer opportunities to see new and emerging brands who arguably have just as much to offer. We’ve been working hard to address the balance between the brands that are exhibiting – alongside the brand leaders, our visitors can expect to see lots of new and exciting companies who will be making their W Exhibition debuts.

“After an extended period of restricted face-to-face business we hope that the entire industry will share in our enthusiasm at getting back to doing what we do best. The W Exhibition & Elements is the UK’s flagship event for the joinery and furniture making industry and we are excited to showcase all of the latest products and machinery when we return in February 2022.” 

The W Exhibition has over 40 years of heritage, and continues  to grow. It will return to the NEC for its biennial four-day showcase from 6-9th February 2022. The show brings together some of the world’s leading suppliers of woodworking machinery, materials and tooling.