Composites UK’s marketing and communications manager, Claire Whysall reviews the successful introduction into the industry events calendar of the recent International Composites Summit.
In early September, Composites UK made a successful return to live events, organising the inaugural International Composites Summit (ICS) alongside Fluency Marketing.
ICS is the only exhibition solely focused on the composites industry in the UK and was the first large scale event held by the Association as we move out of the pandemic. It welcomed over 600 people across two days in London.
ICS had been in the planning stage for three years before this first event, when our members came to us to ask for a dedicated industry showcase – and this was our response.
It relaunched face-to-face business networking for the industry, bringing together companies concentrating on worldwide opportunities for sales and growth. After 18 months, the composites industry was ready to meet and take its future into its own hands. The attendees were serious about composite materials, which resulted in business deals being done on the show floor.
Despite some travel restrictions still imposed on overseas attendees, 15% of delegates were from outside of the UK. We welcomed the support of international organisations including the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), JEC, the European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE). We are excited to see more international organisational partnerships flourish next time around as the world returns to normality.
The support of our media partners, Composites in Manufacturing being one of them, was invaluable, as was that of our event sponsor, the National Composites Centre.
46 companies took the leap and exhibited at this first event, even when extended lockdowns began to look like they would never end. Coming out of an EU-exit and a pandemic meant this was a huge risk for everyone involved, but we couldn’t have asked for a better response. Our exhibitor’s commitment paid off as 83% of them rebooked for 2022 whilst they were at the 2021 show, with most of them opting for a larger presence next year. 41% of the 2022 floorplan was already sold by the time we closed the doors on this year’s event.
For 2022, ICS will remain in London, taking place on 21–22 September. The continual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions will naturally result in a larger presence for both UK and international participants. The free-to-attend show floor forum sessions with top level industry speakers will return, some of which were full and standing at this year’s event, with presenters from GKN Aerospace, Ford, McLaren, Jaguar Land Rover and Vertical Aerospace to name a few.
Visit the event website to contact us for more details on exhibiting opportunities, sponsorship and more: www.internationalcompositessummit.com
We are also collaborating with Fluency Marketing on another new event, the Fibre Polymer Composites in Construction (FPCC) conference from 7–9 September 2022. FPCC is a three-day peer reviewed international academic conference, focused on the development and application of fibre reinforced polymer composite materials across the construction and infrastructure sectors. Its launch marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the two key UK networks for composites in construction (CoSACNet and the Network Group for Composites in Construction). The call for abstracts is now open – see the conference website for more details: www.fpcc-conference.com