In the run-up to this year's The Advanced Materials Show, AZoM interviewed conference director Olivia Ryan-Hill about how the show has evolved and what visitors can expect to see this June.
Please can you introduce yourself and your professional background?
I am the conference director for Event Partners Ltd, the organizers of The Advanced Materials Show (and its co-located events), occurring June 28th and 29th, 2023, at the NEC. I have been working in high-value manufacturing industries, from a research and events point of view, for seven years now, delivering both technical and strategy-focused content and programs for the European, GCC, and US markets.
The Advanced Materials Show is the UK’s largest advanced materials show and conference. How many visitors do you attract each year, and how broad-ranging is the industry presence?
We are delighted to report that we attracted more than 3000 visitors last year, with that number expected to grow substantially in 2023 to 4000 or 5000 as we increase the gap between us and the time of C19.
What makes advanced materials relevant to so many different sectors?
Almost every industry you can think of has some reliance on materials, and almost all materials can be improved with new processes or designs to create more sustainable, cost-effective, lighter, or more durable alternatives. The list of potential property improvements that can be achieved is huge! From the can of coke in your hand to the miniaturized bio-devices that are increasingly being placed in the human body to help with healthcare or the technology in our natural environment, getting the materials design right and developing clean and smart production processes is crucial.
The Advanced Materials Show is co-located with The Advanced Ceramics Show, Battery Cells and Systems Expo, and the Vehicle Electrification Show. What is the benefit of having all of these shows under one roof?
There is a natural crossover between these events. The common ground is found in themes around advancing high-value technology, innovative materials, smaller, better-performing components, more sustainable solutions, and Industry 4.0 - affecting each of these industries, and there is much they can learn from each other. Of course, more directly, many advanced materials and ceramics producers work closely with battery developers, EV manufacturers, and other advanced materials manufacturers, so the cross-pollination is significant.
Image Credit: The Advanced Materials Show
What does the show hope to achieve by bringing the industry together over its two days?
We find that the greatest benefits from attending a two-day show like these are the conversations that you wouldn’t have anywhere else, whether this is on stage between speakers, between existing client-supplier relationships, potential new customers engagements, or simply peer-to-peer, these are connections at a volume and quality that don’t exist outside of in-person trade shows like ours with high footfall and top quality attendees.
How have you noticed the advanced materials industry changing over the years since the show began?
There have been few periods in my lifetime, and certainly that of the show, with such huge upheaval. The combined transformations brought about by Brexit, the Pandemic, and the Ukraine War have brought unprecedented challenges and difficult times, but in some cases, opportunity too. The Pandemic showed us new potential for sustainable projects, and all our shows are a key part of that fundamentally important push.
Visitors to the show can also benefit from a program of speakers and panel sessions. Could you give some examples of the exciting representatives speaking at the show this year?
We have four theaters, each showcasing elements of the four events, so you can expect the very best of the world pop technology that the UK and the world have to offer. Some highlights include Andy Palmer, formerly a global executive at Nissan and Aston Martin Lagonda, Claire Spooner, Deputy Challenge Director at the Faraday Battery Challenge, UKRI, Neil Glover, Head of Materials at Rolls Royce, Bob Galyen, Former CTO at the world’s largest battery cell manufacturer CATL, Dr. Mandar Thakare, Associate Director at bp ICAM, Bhavika Ramrakhyani, the Head of Materials at construction powerhouse Costain and Helmut Ringdorfer, the Marketing Manager for the Advanced Ceramics Market at global materials giant Imerys.
Image Credit: The Advanced Materials Show
Why do you believe in-person trade shows and conferences are significant to knowledge transfer in this field?
These specialized events serve as vital platforms for professionals to exchange groundbreaking research findings, explore the latest advancements, and collaborate on innovative projects. By bringing together experts, exhibitors, and enthusiasts in a shared physical space, these gatherings facilitate hands-on demonstrations of new materials and technologies. They enable direct engagement, allowing attendees to discuss intricate technical details, gain practical insights, and witness live product showcases. Furthermore, the networking opportunities fostered at these events pave the way for meaningful collaborations and partnerships, accelerating progress in these transformative fields.
Who would benefit the most from attending The Advanced Materials Show and its co-located conferences this June?
Ultimately, The Advanced Materials Show and its co-located conferences cater to a wide audience, including researchers, engineers, industry professionals, academics, and investors, all seeking to stay at the forefront of the rapidly evolving fields of advanced materials, ceramics, battery technology, and electric vehicles.
How do you expect the show to evolve in the coming years?
Expansion of Exhibitor and Attendee Base: Over time, as these fields continue to advance, more companies, startups, and research institutions will seek to showcase their latest products, innovations, and research findings at the show. This expansion will create an ever more vibrant and diverse marketplace for knowledge exchange.
Integration of Emerging Technologies: As technology continues to evolve, we can expect The Advanced Materials Show to incorporate and highlight emerging technologies relevant to the field, including advancements in additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, sustainable materials, energy storage, and other related areas to address the industry's evolving needs.
Focus on Sustainability and Circular Economy: We expect an increasing number of exhibitors and speakers will be showcasing eco-friendly materials, recycling technologies, energy-efficient solutions, and other initiatives aimed at reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices.
Increasing Collaborations and Partnerships: We are always looking to foster constructive collaborations and partnerships with industry associations, academic institutions, and research organisations. By bringing together different stakeholders, The Advanced Materials Show can promote joint initiatives, collaborative projects, and knowledge sharing on a broader scale. We see this collaborative approach as part of the process of facilitating the development of breakthrough technologies and driving the overall advancement of the industry.
About Olivia Ryan-Hill
I'm the Event Partners Conference Director for the NEC shows and have many years of experience as a research, conference, and content producer with a passion for delivering insightful and engaging content to B2B audiences. I have worked on both the US and UK versions of the advanced materials show and very much enjoy engaging with these exciting and potentially transformative industries across our rapidly growing and engaging events.
My experience extends to consultancy work, where I have provided research, events, content, and social media strategies for clients in technology, materials, and sustainability spaces. It is in this role that I have cemented a long-term collaboration with Event Partners, coordinating large-scale event programs focused on advanced materials, batteries, renewables, and automotive electrification, and engaging high-profile speakers from Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, bp, Rolls Royce, BASF, Kyocera, McLaren, and more.
Connect with me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/oliviaryanhill
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.