Tyre industry’s showman
Tony Robinson has his hands on the pulse of tyre industry in Europe and beyond. His company UKIP Media & Events has consistently scored high in organising the continent’s biggest industry event – Tire Technology Expo and Conference. The all-inclusive show has become the most awaited event in the industry calendar over the past 14 years. The 2014 exhibition will be the best ever, says Robinson in this interview with Polymers & Tyre Asia
As the biggest tyre industry exhibition and conference in Europe, what can one expect from Tire Technology Expo 2014?
Tire Technology Expo has progressed since the launch in 2000 gaining size, stature and importance every year since then. It is unquestionably the case that the 2014 Expo and Conference in Cologne, Germany, from Feb 11-13 will be the biggest ever and that can be referenced in terms of the number of exhibitors and by reference to the number of Conferences and Courses going on at the same time.
This year there are no less than six specialist courses including the revered Akron University Tire Mechanics Short Course all taking place side by side and at the same time as the Tire Technology Expo Main Conference. Around 500 delegates and 140 speakers are expected to be in attendance.
Tire Technology Expo brings together an unprecedented number of experts from all over the world. It has progressively become the most prized event to attend and stated extensively nowadays to be the most important singular event in the tire manufacturing calendar.
What is it that makes Tire Technology Expo a globally awaited industry event?
We really set out at the outset to become the highpoint of the tyre industry year and it has taken us many years to get to that position. I think it’s the shear combination of all its parts that now adds up to make it a truly global must attend event. We wanted to put on a real showcase for the industry adding The Awards, The Gala Dinner, the expert courses and all of the elements to create a unique environment to really celebrate the excellence and intellect that goes into making these wonderful and brilliantly engineered products.
We’ve been incredibly grateful to gain the support of so many truly learned people across the industry, who give up their time to participate as speakers and course leaders and we hope that everybody comes away from a week at Tire technology Expo with benefits. It certainly looks that way based on what we see and hear. But we leave no room for complacency and we will be looking to maintain and even further improve on what we are doing in the coming years.
Do you see a return to confidence in the industry after late last decade’s slowdown?
In the period following the global slowdown after 2007 we saw an industry that for a while was nervous of where and when investment was going to return, but from 2010 onwards we are delighted to see growth and confidence back in the market and immensely confident exhibitors who also know that Tire Technology Expo delivers real customer opportunities.
By the same token it is now the case that investors and engineering directors from tyre companies know they can come to the event and really meet the complete supplier base really with very few exceptions so as the Expo grows it becomes more and more valuable all round. And that is now paralleled as we see the growth in exhibits from the chemicals and materials companies as well. At last we are seeing and all tyre industry all-embracing event. It just gets better every year.