Industry forum for electronics design, manufacturing & test

Author : Phil Valentine, Managing Director, European Trade & Exhibition Services (ETES)

03 January 2019

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics logo

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018 by becoming the first major exhibition in the newly-built Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre: a £35m state-of-the-art permanent venue on the site of the iconic airshow.

This show preview was originally featured in the January 2019 issue of EPDT magazine. Sign up to receive your own copy.

Phil Valentine, Managing Director of show organiser, European Trade & Exhibition Services (ETES), discusses how 2019’s show will once again provide an ideal forum for design engineers, suppliers and specifiers from a wide spectrum of engineering enterprise.

Farnborough International is the largest exhibition venue built in the UK in the last two decades, a landmark development for the high-tech manufacturing enterprises concentrated across the south east – who now have a new 20,000m² showcase venue on their doorstep. Farnborough is, of course, well known for its famous airshow, which generates billions in revenue for UK manufacturers annually. Roughly a quarter of the UK’s 3,400 aerospace & defence companies are located in the south east, not to mention branches of the top ten US aerospace firms and the UK’s largest space exploration company. BAE Systems headquarters is situated in the adjacent Farnborough Aerospace Centre, along with Lockheed Martin and other industry leaders.

Naturally, these companies don’t exist in isolation: supporting them is a rich and diverse supply chain, offering a plethora of world-class design, manufacturing and engineering production services. For many of these firms, Southern Manufacturing & Electronics is their main annual showcase. The show’s importance to the UK’s manufacturing supply chain has been the driving force behind its success and growth over the last 20 years. Moving into its third decade, its new venue has helped transform the show from a regional event into one of international significance, which now figures in the calendars of engineering professionals across Europe, and beyond.

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics

The range of products and services on show is comprehensive: from component, production hardware and test equipment vendors, through PCB manufacturers and CEMs, to specialist design and test service providers. And co-located with the show, AutoAero offers a highly specialised event focused on the UK’s aerospace and automotive sectors, covering a wide range of engineering disciplines from precision engineering, electronics, testing & certification, to working with advanced materials such as composites. For more details on exhibitors, see the extended show preview.

In addition to the exhibition and demonstration areas, a free seminar programme runs simultaneously in two theatres, focused on manufacturing and electronics respectively. Topics addressed include 3D printing and additive manufacturing, CE marking, autonomous vehicles and Brexit! Free accessibility to such high-calibre technical and business expertise is a further compelling reason to visit.

Show Director, Phil Valentine commented: “Southern Manufacturing & Electronics’ new home has completely transformed the exhibition experience for visitors and exhibitors alike. The new building is a superb modern facility, offering high-speed Wi-Fi throughout, drive-in access for exhibitors and 3,500 free onsite car parking spaces. We were absolutely delighted to be the first tenants of this landmark development – and are excited at how it is enabling us to grow and develop the show.”

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2019 opens from February 5th to 7th at Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, alongside Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, close to the M3. Admittance to the show is free, with complimentary on-site parking available. More info and tickets are available at

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