Lab Innovations 2018 beat all records for the show, attracting 3,113 attendees. With a 10% increase on the previous year, dates have already been announced for next year’s event.
Underlying the headline number were significant increases in the number of visitors purchasing products and services. Overall, 79% of visitors were involved in the purchasing decision, with a 43% increase in lab managers, a 53% increase in lab technicians, and a 125% increase in procurement managers. In addition, the number of scientists attending increased by 49%.
Carolyn Jones, Lab Manager, University of Birmingham, said the event was: “… well worth attending. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone with a budget to spend.” Jacqueline Balian, Head of Laboratory Technology Sector at GAMBICA, added: “GAMBICA has exhibited at Lab Innovations since the start. We find it one of the most effective events for connecting our members with purchasers and distributors.”
Lab Innovations was a showcase for many new products, technologies and applications introduced to the UK by big brand laboratory names and smaller niche suppliers, including:
• Eppendorf’s range of centrifuges, a large capacity biological shaker and CO2 incubator family
• HORIBA Scientific’s award-winning Duetta absorbance/fluorescence spectrometer
• Elementar’s UNICUBE and UNICUBE trace instruments for C and N measurements
• IKA’s ROTAVISC series of highly functional viscometers
• Analytix’s Milestone DMA-80 evo high-sensitivity mercury analyser
• Malvern Panalytical’s Zetasizer Pro and Ultra systems for measuring particle size, molecule size and zeta potential
• Haier Biomedical’s intelligent, energy-reducing Salvum Ultimate freezers
• OHAUS’s Pioneer PX analytical and precision balances
• Appleton Woods’ appPETTE single channel variable pipettes
• Socorex’s Qualitix® tipfill system for quick and easy filing of pipette racks
The Innovation Gallery Award, sponsored by Innovation DB, recognised these product innovations, with new exhibitor, CN Bio, winning the award for its PhysioMimix T1 organs-on-chips system.
Alongside laboratory products, visited had access to networking and CPD-accredited educational opportunities in the four open-access seminar theatres: the Royal Society of Chemistry theatre; the Laboratory News Insights and Innovations theatre, sponsored by PerkinElmer; the new Cleanroom Hub area, in association with Cleanroom Technology; and the LIVE lab. Most presentations were packed, particularly for the keynote speakers, broadcaster Maggie Philbin, highlighting ‘Hidden Innovators’, and science presenter Steve Mould, anecdotally discussing ‘What it means to be a nerd’.
Also new for 2018 was the Sustainable Laboratory area. Ruth Wilson, a researcher from Proctor & Gamble particularly enjoyed the focus on sustainability, “which is very relevant to my company. I would love to come again and will definitely be passing on a lot of information now and recommending it to my colleagues for next year.” Lab Innovations was also an opportunity to discover new options for improving efficiency in the lab, as Ralph Munonyedi, Microbiologist, Mondelez International, explained: “I’ve found many products that would be beneficial to use in our own laboratories to support efficiency savings – including time, costs and also energy.”
Stephen Dey, Operational Marketing Team Leader, Eppendorf UK, commented: “Lab Innovations is one of the only places where we get to see this breadth of customers. You get everyone here…and it gives us an opportunity to engage with a huge range of people.” Joshua Chapman, Marketing Director, Scientific Laboratory Supplies concurred, saying that Lab Innovations “is very much a priority on the scientific calendar for us and it’s one that we’re certainly going to be supporting for years to come.” New exhibitors were also impressed: “Lots of people placed pre-orders for our novel cell washer product,” said Amrat Imrali, of Imrali Inventions, with Jim Watts of Network Scientific, confirming that “It will definitely be worth coming back.”
The organisers are already working on providing even more reasons to visit and exhibit in 2019. Lab Innovations Divisional Director, Alison Willis, said: “This seventh year of Lab Innovations has beaten all expectations and we are really looking forward to Lab Innovations 2019. We have more than 76% of our current exhibitor space rebooked already and we will be growing the show next year; it will be even bigger and better.”
Lab Innovations 2019 will take place on 30th to 31st October 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.