Durham Oktoberfest

Member Article

Oktoberfest to hit new heights

The North East’s biggest annual engineering and manufacturing exhibition is set to hit new heights this year with a host of internationally renowned buyers and exhibitors – and a high profile key note speaker.

Phil Handley, Managing Director of Caterpillar will bring his business expertise to the showcase event, Oktoberfest 2012, scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 18th at the XCEL Centre, Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham.

Mr Handley is expected to speak on a range of business topics when he takes part in an ‘in conversation with…’ interview with David Baxter, of South Tyneside Business Network. Councillor Neil Foster, Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration, Durham County Council, long term supporters of Oktoberfest, is also expected to speak.

Their participation has excited organisers already thrilled by the support of motor manufacturing giant Nissan who recently confirmed their sponsorship and Hitachi Rail Europe who make a welcome return to the event having participated for the first time last year. Hitachi Rail Europe are also expected to give a much anticipated progress update to attendees.

A highlight and key factor in the success of the event is the ground-breaking ‘meet the buyer’ programme which gives exhibiting firms one-on-one introductions to buyers where they can broker new relationships and trade opportunities with some of the biggest names in the defence, automotive, consumer electronics, lighting and power industries. A whole host of companies are already lined up to participate including American Air Filters, BAE Systems, Narec, Parkers, and the MoD.

And, with up to 100 exhibitors also expected, organisers hope to exceed last year’s footfall of almost 1,000 visitors.

John Lyle, of organiser Engineering Clusters County Durham (ECCD), believes these factors will combine to make the fifth annual event – designed to showcase talent, open up new contacts, and initiate business – the most successful yet.

He said: “Phil’s presence has given Oktoberfest 2012 a tremendous boost.

“He is incredibly well respected in the region and will add significantly to the event bringing with him vast experience of how successful business is done.

“It is important that Oktoberfest continues to showcase manufacturing and engineering talent and prowess, and attracting people like Phil shows we are doing just that.”

He added: “Oktoberfest has gone from strength to strength and I am proud of the support it will receive this year from many major names in manufacturing and engineering.

“Nissan’s sponsorship is a wonderful acknowledgement of the success of previous events. It is also recognition of Oktoberfest’s potential and of the role it plays in brokering relationships between businesses.”

ECCD is supported by partners through the North East Engineering & Manufacturing Alliance (NEEMA).

NEEMA is made up of North East Process Industry Cluster, South Tyneside Manufacturing Forum, East Durham Engineering Forum, North Durham Engineering Forum, South Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Forum, Northern Defence Industries and EEF.

Mr Lyle added: “Oktoberfest is a great way for companies to make new contacts, initiate new commercial prospects and meet buyers from large organisations who are looking to improve and strengthen their supply chain network.

“I am delighted with the quality of the companies already involved this year and I expect others to sign up over the coming weeks to make this the best and most successful event yet.”

More information about Oktoberfest 2012 can be found at [www.durhamoktoberfest.org.uk](http://www.durhamoktoberfest.org.uk/? target=).

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lorraine Schapira .

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