County Durham SMEs are being encouraged to book their place at this year’s EMCON Incubator Zone as only a handful of stands remain.
EMCON (formerly known as Durham Oktoberfest) takes place at the Xcel Centre on Thursday October 18.
Seventeen companies have already booked their place on the incubator programme, the latest recruits being Aycliffe firms Pixel Media, Workwear Supplies and Greystone Legal.
They will join Consett-based Ashgarth Engineering and Durham Scenic Works, Beacon 365, Peterlee’s GEM Training, Millbank Solutions and many more, who have all agreed to exhibit after hearing about the success of the inaugural programme last year.
This is the second year that the Incubator Zone, which is delivered through Business Durham’s Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) team with European Regional Development Fund funding, has been held.
Last year 21 companies from the area took part in the programme and, to date, contracts worth more than £200,000 have been won.
The Incubator Zone programme enabled new and growing companies, or those who had little or no exhibition experience, to showcase themselves to an EMCON audience of over 1,000 people.
Pixel Media sales director Ian Proctor (pictured) told Aycliffe Today: “We’re excited about the up-and-coming EMCON event, it will be the first expo event for us and it couldn’t have been possible without the help of Business Durham and CDEMN, which organises it.
“The Incubator Zone programme comes with training on how to promote your business at such events and all the support required to make the time there successful.
“We’re committed to building on our continued growth by building new relationships and push into new sectors within Aycliffe Business Park and beyond.”
The criteria to exhibit within the Incubator Zone is that the companies must:
• Be based in County Durham
• Have proven links to the manufacturing and engineering sectors
• Be actively looking to grow
• Have never exhibited at EMCON before
EMCON is organised by the County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN).
Operations director Ben Gilhespy said: “The Incubator Zone was a huge draw last year and already the level of interest we’ve seen is huge.
“Word has certainly spread among the engineering and manufacturing communities that this is the ideal opportunity for firms to meet potential new suppliers and ultimately, win work.”
Sarah Slaven, business development director at Business Durham, which manages DBOP, added: “The Incubator Zone is a great opportunity for companies who haven’t previously gone to EMCON to get involved with this key event in the Engineering and Manufacturing calendar.
“We’d urge any businesses that fit the criteria to get in touch now as there are already over 15 companies that have booked, which means places are quickly becoming limited.”
Find out more about EMCON and apply to exhibit at emcon.show