Subcon celebrates 45 years as UK's leading subcontract manufacturing show

2 mins read

Subcon returned to the NEC, Birmingham on the 7th – 9th June 2022. The 45th celebration of the event didn’t disappoint, from busy stands, to engaged conference sessions and even free cream teas in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the show encapsulated the industry’s optimism and successes.

Visitor numbers saw a massive 30% increase compared with 2021. The co-location with The Engineer Expo and Manufacturing Management Show ensured visitors had plenty to discover, with over 200 international and British exhibitors for visitors to source solutions from and discover new products. Feelings of success were also mirrored by the exhibiting companies with 50% already rebooking their stand for next year, and 10% upgrading their stand size.

A spokesperson from exhibitor Ash Technologies said: “We’ve generated lots of new leads from companies we haven’t seen before, or companies we’ve tried to get into in the past but haven’t managed to.”

Fellow exhibitor DVR added: “Subcon is always the highlight of our year because of the quality of leads we get and the team here really looks after you. I’m looking forward to next year already!”

Shaping the future: free conference sessions with all new Supply Chain Theatre

This year, Subcon also ran two parallel conference streams across all three show days, sponsored by leaders in sustainability, Inenco. The Engineer Expo and Manufacturing Management Show Theatre were spearheaded by the leading journals The Engineer and Manufacturing Management. Bringing together speakers including Rhys Herbert, Senior Economist at Lloyds Bank and Dave Swan, Chief Technology Officer at Tharsus Group, this theatre offered visitors insight into the key issues and trends that are driving innovation and shaping the UK’s industrial landscape in 2022.

New for 2022, the all new Supply Chain Theatre was also a great success, providing on-the-spot usable and workable solutions on everything from smart tech implementation and security, to workforce development and hitting net-zero. With speakers from IBM, Alliance Procurement Solutions and Vendigital, there was something for everyone.

Other event highlights:
Jubilee celebrations: Subcon added a little extra pizazz for the Queen’s 70th Jubilee celebrations! With bunting around the show and free cream teas, visitors made the most of the festivities.

Buyers' Lounge sponsored by Qimtek: VIP visitors were entitled to exclusive access to a Buyers Lounge, allowing for dedicated networking and key discussions to take place.

Chatty Hatter Live Podcast: Subcon was delighted to be supported by Chatty Hatter, who ran their live podcast takeover (That Engineering Chat). Chatty Hatter will be sharing the lively and informative podcasts that were recorded live at the show over the coming weeks.

Subcon celebrates MAB’s leading journals: Subcon is supported by several of the foremost manufacturing and engineering journals which were on display at this year’s show. With The Engineer, Manufacturing Management, Machinery, FAST and Made In Ireland to name just a few, it was fantastic to see the support from the Mark Allen Business titles and to be a part of this leading voice within the industry.

Event Director, Jason Dante, commented: “Subcon 2022 has been an exceptional show and we’ve been so pleased to see visitor numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels. The diversity of companies at the show brought together the full manufacturing ecosystem to do business in a lively environment.

"We’d also like to say a big thank you to our show sponsors Omnidex, Inenco and Qimtek, as well as all our exhibitors and visitors to the show. We have already started planning for next year and can’t wait to share all the exciting details!”

Looking forward to 2023:

Subcon will be back from the 7th – 8th June 2023 at the NEC, Birmingham. Next year, alongside The Engineer Expo and Manufacturing Management Show, The Advanced Manufacturing Show will also be featured. The eagerly anticipated return and 4th edition of the biannual Advanced Manufacturing Show will showcase cutting edge machine technologies, cutting tools, work holding apparatus and manufacturing equipment needed by an audience of manufacturing production professionals. This is a dedicated event for buyers to be able to benchmark the latest manufacturing technology on the market to make their investment and purchasing decisions.

For more information on visitor and exhibitor opportunities, and to register your interest, please visit