I am pleased to report that this year’s Austech exhibition was a great success with most exhibitors reporting it as the best show we have run in 20 years. The Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited (AMTIL), which owns and operates Austech, co-located again with National Manufacturing Week, owned and operated by Reed Exhibitions Australia.

In the wash-up of our Austech exhibition there are many people to thank. First and foremost – the 165 exhibitors who put on a fantastic showcase and the 12,991 attendees – from 29 different countries – who came to visit Austech and National Manufacturing Week. In addition to the visitors we also had 3,030 exhibitor personnel and over 200 students attend the show.

I would also like to thank our contractors who largely go unnoticed in the overall scheme of putting on such a large event but are an integral part of making it happen. So at the risk of embarrassing some companies and individuals, I write this article to thank them and give our readers some insight into the mechanics of running our show.

Thank you to Michael Begg and his team at Harry the Hirer. The four-to-six months of daily pre-show email communication to ensure every “T” is crossed and every “I” dotted with our team ensured the smoothest move-in to a show we have had in almost 20 years. Beggy’s unique “Sector” plan, which involved four sectors of carpet lay and stand build over five days, was well received by other contractors and certainly gave us a few laughs along the way. Over 13,000 carpet tiles were laid with a fair percentage of them having to be kicked back into place after being run over by forklifts!

Also thanks to Travis Wall and his team of electricians and riggers. Safety is paramount during our move-in and move-out process and the challenge of having carpet laid, rigging done, and crane movements all at the same time (along with everything else) was made easy by the professionalism of the Harry the Hirer staff. An interesting fact is that in order to provide power to all the stands and equipment, over 13km of electrical cable needed to be laid in the carpark prior to the show.

Our logistics contractor Agility Fairs & Events, ably led by the “Freightman” Michael Stubbs, again did a great job of controlling the logistics of freight, loading-dock chaos, forklifts and crane movements. Special thanks to Michael Barker and his team for an outstanding effort. To be on-site from 6.00am until 10.00pm most days and be organised and flexible at the same time takes a great deal of management and patience. The nightly debriefs in Sector Five always came with a few laughs too!

F Wood & Son is our plumbing contractor and well done to Paul Wood and his team on another smooth show. We hope Brian had a good holiday in Thailand whilst the team worked on the show! Thanks to Mandy behind the scenes for getting the administration done.

Thanks to Chris Petropoulos and the guys at Sims Metal, with some late changes to our schedule being easily accommodated. Another interesting fact is that we recycled nearly 11 tonnes of swarf and scrap metal generated by exhibitors at the show.

Thanks to our gas suppliers, BOC and Coregas, again accommodating some rushed changes to our schedules and late orders being placed. Interesting fact: On the Thursday prior to the show opening, 55 gas packs were delivered to the venue and each morning of the show a number of stands had to have gas pack changeovers.

Thanks to Bruce Emmett at Houghton Australia for supplying and removing over 5,000 litres of cutting fluid and meeting all the exhibitor requirements.

Thanks to Jarrod at JAE Electrical for testing and tagging all the electrical leads.

Thanks to Judith Graham at the Gateway LLEN for pulling the student tours together. Getting our next generation of employees interested in our industry is a significant activity.

Thanks to Jamie and Alex at Ikon Cleaning for being so accessible each and every day. Cleaning is often a thankless task, so good on your team for having our show looking so good at opening time.

Thanks to Kevin and his team at Australian Security Services. Interesting fact: 732 man-hours of security were provided during the show.

Thanks to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) venue staff, and their Operations Manager Jamal Gittens for his appreciation of our efforts. Quite understandingly the MCEC has very strict guidelines and safety considerations and liaising with Jamal to provide a safe working environment provided an excellent outcome. Jamal is moving on from the venue and we wish him the best for whatever the future holds. Thanks to Claire McGillivray, our Event Co-ordinator at the MCEC, working behind the scenes to help make everything happen.

Thanks to our partners, Reed Exhibitions, who we co-locate with. Thanks to Robby Clark and his team for all the assistance pre- and post-show. Thanks to the operations team led by Emma Blanch for all their efforts and assistance on-site.

Finally, thanks to my team, led by our Events Manager Kim Banks, on another outstanding show. Our critical path has 131 line items and each one of them has been managed and ticked off on time on budget. Great effort team!