An electronics show in the UK? Surely everyone knows that British engineers don’t go to shows!

But there is going to be a new show in the UK next year: in 2013 Findlay Media will launch the Electronics Design Show. Are they crazy? Or just over-optimistic? In fact this could be a great move.

The Electronics Design Show will be co-located with the Engineering Design Show – an event that delivered some pretty impressive results when it opened a week ago. In its first year, the show attracted 1592 visitors, and the quality was pretty good. The graphs below show that the event did a great job of attracting engineers and technical managers, and successfully reached companies in some of the UK’s key markets.



In the electronics industry, however, the key to making shows successful is to secure the big-name suppliers as exhibitors, who in turn will pull in high-quality visitors. This is how electronics shows in the UK died out: the influential chip manufacturers lost interest as visitor numbers fell, and so the shows attracted fewer engineers and we saw the inevitable death-spiral. So it was great to hear Findlay’s Peter Ring tell me, “I know we need the big semiconductor guys.” In fact Digi-Key, RS Components and Anglia have already committed to exhibit at the show, and there are several other smaller electronics suppliers also signed up. If the manufacturers that supply these distributors also commit, then we could see a compelling UK electronics design show.

Findlay is definitely being ambitious. They’ve committed to three times the space they had this year, and are targeting 2,500 visitors across the two events. Will they be successful? If they get commitments from a couple of the big semiconductor manufacturers at electronica, then it’s very likely other suppliers will jump on the bandwagon. Although it is hard to get engineers away from their desks, I’m optimistic that with the a few more influential exhibitors and the competitive rates for booths, there could be some real momentum behind the event. Perhaps in a year’s time we will be saying you’d be crazy to not participate in a UK electronics show!