MORE than 300 exhibitors demonstrated the latest technologies in the plastics sector over three days at Interplas 2021, which returned to the NEC in Birmingham last month.
More than 40 presentations focused on the main themes of ‘Advancing UK Plastics’ and ‘Sustainability’.
The CPD-accredited conference programme was delivered across two stages and featured presentations from the likes of Jaguar LandRover, Lloyds Bank, Microban, NHS, the BPF, Tesco, Innovate UK, WRAP, and PwC.
Charlotte Chambers, conference producer for Interplas, said, “There is so much happening within the sector, and we managed to cover all the key issues from post-Brexit regulation to sustainable manufacturing and bioplastics. The delegate feedback was terrific, with some fantastic Q&A sessions at which our expert speakers really excelled.”
Simon Johnson, business development director at Billion UK, described what the firm received from the event as ‘pretty phenomenal’. He added, “We’ve been overwhelmed with new contacts – all our business cards have gone! There’s been a constant flow of good quality leads with at least 75% brand new prospects with many wanting to buy. Lots of live projects. Anyone who hasn’t come has really missed out.”
Colin Tirel, MD at Arburg, agreed. “We are extremely pleased with the very high numbers of visitors to our stand across the three days,” he said. “We have many enquiries to follow up from the show. Many commented that it was great that ARBURG were supporting the industry and a combination of existing and potential customers made the commitment that our parent company and we put in, more than worthwhile.”
Glen Eves, general manager at Sepro UK, revealed that some initial worries about the impact of the fuel shortage on footfall proved ‘irrelevant’. “All days the visitor numbers were good on stand, new enquiries and new customers coming to see us each day, but Wednesday was by far the best,” he added. “It was like a conveyor carrying customers on stand from 10am until 4pm, we didn’t even get chance to go for a break. The visitors were focused, time spent with them was purposeful and it was great to see everyone after the last 18 months or so of the pandemic.”
The show’s Knowledge Pavilion gave attendees the chance to meet trade bodies, consultants and service providers to get advice on R&D, skills and education, regulation and materials selection. The new PlastikCity Pavilion presented 20 first-time exhibitors to the audience, and Women in Plastics hosted a networking morning and conference session.
Duncan Wood, CEO of Rapid News Group, owners of Interplas, commented, “After 18 months of uncertainty, challenging commercial conditions and constantly changing operational requirements we are delighted to have delivered Interplas for the UK plastics industry. The exhibitors have had an absolute blast, reconnecting with their market and having those face to face encounters that we have missed so much during the pandemic.”
“The flood of positive feedback we have received is fantastic and I must offer a huge thank you to our exhibitors who stuck with us, who believed in our ability to deliver the shows and who trusted us to do so. When we pull together and are positive in facing challenges we can do amazing things for our markets. Alongside our sponsors, partners, speakers and visitors they made the show the success that it was.
“We will continue to strive to be the best showcase for the UK plastics industry. A celebration of the best of the sector, a gathering of the brightest people, best technology and most innovative developments. Roll on 2023!”