Engineering and manufacturing expo Durham Oktoberfest is re-branding as EMCON to reflect 10 years of growth.
Over 50 invited delegates from the North East’s business community were told the news at a breakfast launch at Ramside Hall Hotel this morning (Wednesday).
The event, which launched in 2008 to give businesses from County Durham the chance to showcase their products and services to potential customers, is now regarded as one of the best for the sectors in the country.
And after reviewing feedback from exhibitors, visitors and sponsors, and the event’s ever-increasing ability to attract national and international companies, organisers felt a change of identity was needed to give it the profile it now commands.
David Land, chairman of County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN), which organises EMCON, said: “For some time we’ve been aware that the name didn’t really reflect the event, which is certainly now a national expo.
“And while we want to be clear that we’re not moving away from EMCON’s history and heritage as a County Durham event, we do want it to continue to attract the biggest and best engineering and manufacturing names from around the UK, and we believe the new identity will help us achieve that.
“It really is about looking to the future and building on what’s been achieved over the last decade, and ensuring we have an event that not only enables companies from County Durham and the North East to promote themselves, but also gives leading names within the industries an opportunity to meet potential suppliers who could make a real difference to the quality of products they make and their bottom line.”
EMCON will continue to be held at the Xcel Centre on Aycliffe Business Park, with long-term sponsor Business Durham remaining as one of the event’s main supporters.
Business Durham managing director Brian Archer said: “EMCON is a real highlight for County Durham and really does help shine the national spotlight on our area and our world class capabilities within the engineering and manufacturing industries.”
The 2018 event will also see the return of the Incubator Zone, which is taking place for the second time and is aimed specifically at County Durham micro and small businesses that have never exhibited before but want to tap into new markets.
Other elements include an Education Zone for young engineers to meet regional employers; themed workshops on issues that impact on businesses; and a Q&A session with a panel of industry experts.