Three days, Three Shows, a week of Innovation

The last week of September was a busy one here at Technical Network. We journeyed to the NEC three times for a range of industry shows, hoping to learn something new and networking at everyone. We visited PPMA Total Show, Recruitment Agency Expo and TCT Personalize from the 27th – 29th Sept 2016.

 PPMA was focused on machinery, packaging and automation. The whirr of industrial machines and buzz of networking made for an exciting atmosphere. With industry shows it’s great to see machines working in front of you, rather than having to imagine how it all works from a photo. There was a big focus on automation with robot arms scanning and moving items along a conveyer with ease.

If you got hungry throughout the show, the PPMA partner’s arena was giving away free Mr Whippy, which you could eat while watching exhibitor interviews on the big screen.

If you’re a fan of watching hypnotising ‘How it’s Made’ videos, PPMA is definitely for you. With the various viscous liquids dispensing and plopping in perfect circles and ridges, it all makes for an enjoyable experience.

Day Two was the Recruitment Agency Expo, a hub for recruitment agencies, job boards and data sites alike all coming together to share knowledge while having a bit of a drink. Thanks RACS Group!

With a big focus on training, most of the hall was filled with seminars and expert speakers. I attended two sessions, both focused on the importance of marketing and a digital presence. Idibu’s talk centered around the importance of retaining relationships and making a frictionless transition between the digital and offline experience.

Firefish expanded on this by speaking about how the sales funnel had changed to feature more of an even split between digital engagement and human interactions. They showed a quote that predicted by 2020 80% of the buying process will occur without human to human interaction.

Overall with lots of food (and drink) for thought, we need to be more proactive as we expand more into a digital experience and make sure the transition is smooth enough to keep those real life relationships as well as developing new ones.

Day Three took us to explore the not emerging, but fully integrated technology, that is 3D printing. TCT + Personalize has grown significantly over the last few years, with the industry transforming from large, expensive industrial machines to almost a household commodity. The start up / future area showed you how simple and easy it can be to become a hobbyist printer, benefitting from a variety of products, from bright polymer to metal and wood like filaments. As we made our way around the floor, occasionally bumping into Jack Sparrow, we could see that 3D printing has many growing different applications. From medical and automotive, to ornaments and jewellery. The only limit to what you can create is your imagination. It’ll be very exciting to see where this fast moving industry will be next year.

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