Record numbers at Lab Innovations 2014

Exhibition reaffirms its position as the UK’s leading event dedicated to laboratory technology and consumables, analytical and biotech equipment

Robin Ince was a very popular keynote speaker

Lab Innovations closed its doors to record numbers, reaffirming its position as the UK’s leading event dedicated to laboratory technology and consumables, analytical and biotech equipment. More than 1,747 attendees – an increase of 25% on last year’s show, packed into Birmingham’s NEC on 5–6 November to celebrate everything the lab industry has to offer.

Visitors included senior decision-makers from leading names, including Sainsbury’s, Asda, NHS, GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo International and Unilever. Katie Morhen, Lab Innovations Event Manager commented: 'The figures for this year are hugely impressive and we couldn’t be happier with how the show turned out. Eighty-three per cent of our visitors were satisfied with the show and an overwhelming 80% said they already intend to visit the show again next year.

Lab Innovations has fully established itself as the leading event of its kind, attracting international visitors, speakers and a huge range of exhibitors from across the industry. The show has expanded year on year and with exhibitors already booking their stands for 2015, Lab Innovations looks set to grow again.'

Visitor Christina Bird, Senior Chemist at Domino, remarked: 'My goal at the start of the show was to see a mix of exhibitors that were of particular interest to me, but I have been blown away by the sheer size and depth Lab Innovations has to offer. I have found all the exhibitors engaging and I have made some very promising contacts for the future. The seminars also offer something special and something to look forward to.'

Edward Hynd, Head of Analytical Services at BLC Leather Technology Centre, concurred. 'The show has been so useful to me. I came to keep an eye on the latest innovations; however, I am coming away having seen products that I didn’t know existed, saving both time and money in the long run.'

The show floor featured not only 106 exhibitors and 25 product launches, but also a full conference and seminar programmes, hosted by Campden BRI and The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Among the speakers on day one was Robin Ince, presenter of award-winning BBC Radio 4 programme The Infinite Monkey Cage, who discussed the beauty of the human imagination during his keynote talk, entitled ‘Curiosity Kills No Cats!’ 'We live in a world that is very immediate, where we tend forget to have patience. It is so important to get excited about the advances of the human imagination and keep moving forward,' Ince remarked. 'We must never be afraid to ask questions. The only pointless questions are the ones we know the answer to already.'

On day two of the show keynote speaker Quentin Cooper, presenter of Britain’s most listened-to science show, Material World on BBC Radio 4, explored the stereotypes of scientists and why they struggle to change their image. 'In the last 50 years, scientists have changed the world, so why does their image never change with it?,' he asked. 'We have to look at how we can shrug off the stereotypes that have formed and usher in a new era of scientist that is not constricted by gender, race or age. With only one child in every 100 depicting a scientist as a woman, it is time to show just how wrong people’s perceptions have become.'

The levels of innovation were also high, with numerous exhibitors using the show to launch new products or services. Retsch unveiled its new type of ball mill for high energy milling - the Emax. Boost Lab launched its Eddy Jet 2, with its revolutionised spiral plating. Brookfield Vicometers launched its upgraded RST Controlled Stress Rheometer. Vacuubrand debuted its new web-based remote control system, VACUU·CONTROL and Metrohm launched its Instant Raman Analyser.

Richard Clarke, Field Sales Manager at Getinge Group, exhibiting at the show, said: 'We selected Lab Innovations as the ideal event to present our new range of Getinge Lancer Laboratory Specific Autoclave System. The show has met all of our expectations and more, which is why we are pleased to say that we have already booked our exhibitor stand for next year’s show.'

The company is not alone; according to the show organisers, 76% of exhibitors have already rebooked for 2015. The next Lab Innovations will take place at Birmingham’s NEC on 4 – 5 November 2015.

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