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Claire Jeffreys, events director, National Electronics Week

Interview with Claire Jeffreys

Claire Jeffreys, events director, National Electronics Week, talks with Chris Shaw

CS: What can a design engineer gain from attending National Electronics Week?
CJ: This year we will have a much wider scope of exhibitors from different industry sectors, so it's a very different show than last year. Design engineers haven't really had an event in the UK for over a decade, so NEW is definitely a new and long awaited home for this market sector, specifically tailored to its needs. This year, we'll also be unveiling some great show features including the Bloodhound SSC project – giving visitors and exhibitors the chance to see British engineering and design at its best. This feature will also enable attendees to meet Richard Noble and the pilot who will be attempting to break the 1000mph land speed record!

CS: What are your thoughts on last year's debut National Electronics Week?
CJ: We were very pleased with the fantastic support from exhibitors last year at NEW and although our visitor numbers were lower than we had hoped, they were on par with previous national UK events. However, anyone who knows us will tell you that we will never rest in our quest to deliver bigger and better things as we revolutionise the UK's exhibition landscape. With the new sectors in place I think we're offering something really special for the entire industry.

CS: Will there be any changes to this year's show?
CJ: Lots! Obviously, as the show expands and widens its focus there is a need to introduce bigger and better features to support this. As I mentioned, this year will see National Electronics create specific areas on our floorplan covering lots of different industry sectors – something that no other UK event has achieved for over a decade. So, visitors will see companies exhibiting the products and services most relevant to them, making their show experience more enjoyable. But it's certainly not all change as - even in our first year - we've established features that have become firm favourites with our visitors, such as the Visitor Hub and Live Production Line which we will continue in 2009.
We will also have three seminar theatres running free full programmes – covering topical industry issues from design innovation to business challenges. More information on these will be available on our website. And, as previously mentioned, representing a major draw for all NEW attendees, we're also delighted to be welcoming the Bloodhound SSC team onsite live at the show; they'll be ready and waiting to answer questions and introduce our guests to the incredible technology behind this supersonic car

CS: What affect has the recession had on the organisation of this year's show?
CJ: As you would expect, it is a little more challenging to get companies to sign up to our show early; we know that parting with money isn't top of anyone's agenda right now. But, having said that, challenging conditions make NEW even more relevant than ever since it represents a cost effective form of marketing – a business area that just cannot be ignored whatever the market conditions. This also means that we are getting a whole host of new companies into NEW which, combined with the continued support of our existing client base, allows us to offer even more than last year.

CS: How were these challenges overcome?
CJ: We have kept our prices very competitive and we are lucky to have the support of the industry via trade associations and publications like yourselves. By working together as an industry, we are able to deliver a show that represents unprecedented, home grown business value and opportunity which really does appeal to companies of all sizes in the current climate. Our unique position means we can reach a wide target audience and offer more than just a three day event – we can give marketing support via our website and ensure our exhibitors' press releases achieve wide industry coverage. NEW is committed to offering the right solution to the UK market and we are fighting the trend of recession with a fantastic event that highlights the UK industry's place on the world stage.

CS: What motivates you to organise an event such as National Electronics Week?
CJ: Everyone involved in NEW has a real passion for this industry and we really want to offer our customers and the industry an event that the UK can be proud of. To do this we need the support of everyone - exhibitors, visitors, press, delegates and the government. The UK has a strong and established history in Electronics and we should be proud of it and support it to ensure we weather this current storm.
Finally Chris, I would like to remind everyone that pre-registration is now live on our website and we urge you all to support NEW this year and in the future.

Author
Chris Shaw

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