8,950 attendees from 50 countries – including senior executives from Abellio, Arriva, City Sightseeing, First, Go-Ahead, National Express, Megabus, Metroline, RATP Dev, Tower Transit, Stagecoach and Transdev – some of the UK and Europe’s biggest bus and coach operators – were packing the aisles at Euro Bus Expo last week.
Held at the NEC Birmingham from 30 October to 1 November, the event brought together all the leading bus and coach operators, transport planners, local authorities, stakeholders, and decision makers from across the industry. This year, there were 265 exhibitors showcasing their latest innovations, solutions, services and insights, including over £21m worth of vehicles on display.
Significantly, the strong footfall has been backed by glowing testimonials from across the show floor. Excellent, amazing, fantastic, superb, inspiring, informative, relevant, worthwhile, and enjoyable are just some of the words that attendees have used to describe the event so far.
“As the biggest bus and coach event in Europe this year, Euro Bus Expo ticked all the right boxes. Many exhibitors have already reported record orders and hailed the show as a significant success,” says event director Helen Conway.
“This year’s line-up offered our visitors an unrivalled opportunity to exchange information about the latest vehicles, technologies, equipment and services on the market, and get expert advice and inspiration from all the leading industry innovators. From the ‘buzz’ across the floor, to the standing room only Master Class Theatre sessions, as well as the exhibition stands that just looked incredible – everyone should be very proud of the creativity and innovation on show here.
“It was a very busy, valuable and productive three days for everyone involved. Huge thanks, as always, must go to all our exhibitors, visitors, speakers, media partners. And we’re particularly grateful for the continuing support of our event partner – the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT). Thanks for helping us put on a fantastic show!” she says.
The show’s visitor list also included: Alfa Travel, Bakers Dolphin Coach Travel, Bath Bus Company, Bayliss Executive Travel, Big Bus Tours, Blackpool Transport Services, Bluestar, Brighton & Hove Buses / Metrobus, Bus Éireann, Centrebus, City Circle, CT Plus, Custom Bus, Department for Transport (DfT), Diamond Buses, Dublin Bus, Edwards Coaches, GoBus, Horseman Coaches, Irish Citylink, Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel, Leger Holidays, Lothian Buses, McGill’s Buses, Nottingham City Transport, Oxford Bus Company, Passenger Plus, Plymouth Citybus, Reading Buses, Redwing Coaches, Scottish CityLink, South Wales Transport, Tiger Coaches, Translink, Transport for Greater Manchester, Transport for London (TfL), Transport for West Midlands, Travel de Courcey, TrawsCymru, Trentbarton, Uno, Williams Coaches, Yellow Buses, YPO, and many more.
Alongside the show’s bustling exhibition, the Master Class Theatre was a hive of activity throughout. Highlights included a stellar line-up of industry big hitters, including Martin Dean (CPT & The Go-Ahead Group), Alex Hornby (Transdev Blazefield), Meera Nayyar (DfT), Claire Mann (TfL), Richard Grey (Greys of Ely), Bill Hiron (Stephensons of Essex), Ian Luckett (Lucketts Holdings), Phil Jowitt (DVSA), Claire Walters (Bus Users UK), Andy Eastlake (LowCVP), Anthony Smith (Transport Focus), Steven Salmon (CPT), and Thomas Ableman (Snap Travel Technology). Plus, Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, delivered an opening day video address.
The standout industry event
For the visitors who came in their thousands (of which 62% have attended before), Euro Bus Expo is firmly established as the place where bus, coach and mini vehicle operators do business. It is a ‘must-attend’ for keeping up-to-date with game-changing new technologies and all the latest industry developments.
“I very much enjoyed visiting Euro Bus Expo. It was a great place to meet the dedicated people and see innovative product offers, which make up so much of the industry. I came away with a better network and lots of new ideas,” says Catriona Henderson, Head of Buses and Taxis – Buses and Taxis Division at the DfT.
“Euro Bus Expo is a fantastic opportunity for operators in the transport sector to see the latest innovations, cutting edge designs and developments. This year’s show held so much to see and learn from, with an excellent range of vehicles, including both existing and soon to enter the market models,” says Richard Grey, MD of Greys of Ely.
“It was great to visit this year’s Euro Bus Expo and see so many of the latest innovations, products and services that will help our buses continue to evolve and be even more relevant at this exciting time. Good also to catch up with so many friends and colleagues from across the industry,” says Patrick Warner, head of innovation & strategy at Brighton & Hove Buses, Metrobus and Spirit of Sussex Coaches (part of Go-Ahead Group).
“Euro Bus Expo is a great opportunity to understand industry innovation, but also talk to suppliers in order to stimulate further innovation for the future, ensuring that the customer is forefront of our minds,” says Marc Reddy, MD of FirstBus in Hampshire, Dorset & Berkshire.
“This year’s Euro Bus Expo demonstrated the very best the bus industry and its suppliers have to offer. There were lots of innovations and product developments, as well as a recognition of heritage and where we’ve progressed from. It was a terrific event and great to see people from across the industry,” says Ben Wakerley, MD at Network Warrington.
“Taking the time out to visit Euro Bus Expo is really important if you wish to stay up-to-date with suppliers, products, vehicles and technology. Plus, it’s an ideal forum for networking as well,” says Gary Chisholm, engineering director at Stagecoach North East.
“What a fantastic opportunity to meet industry experts from all theatres of the business, the vast amount of information, innovation, new vehicle design, as well as trade stands, and stakeholders of all descriptions, says James Harvey, fleet engineer at First Scotland East & First Aberdeen.
“It was great to visit Euro Bus Expo 2018 and feel the buzz around the room due to new developments around cameras instead of wing mirrors, scheduling technology and vehicle propulsion systems. As ever, it was also nice to catch up with familiar faces around the hall,” says Simon Mathieson, area MD – North at Arriva Midlands (covering Derby, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Telford & Wrekin and Transport for the West Midlands).
“As ever, another great Euro Bus Expo. Always good to see one of our own buses on a manufacturer’s stand, see the latest developments and catch up with colleagues old and new,” says Andrew Wickham, MD of Go South Coast.
“I always enjoy attending the show to see the latest innovations and developments, gather new ideas and meet suppliers. There’s nothing like having all the options under one roof to help shape our buying decisions,” says Robert Williams, CEO of Reading Buses.
“Another great Euro Bus Expo with plenty to see and learn. We have been attending the NEC shows (Euro Bus Expo and Coach & Bus UK) for over twenty-years and it’s the standout industry event that brings everything together,” says Terry McIntyre, director at Golden Boy Coaches.
Exhibitors celebrate successful show
For the show’s 265 exhibiting companies, Euro Bus Expo 2018 was the perfect opportunity to connect with all the key people in the industry ‘under one roof’.
“It’s been a stonking show. We’ve been overwhelmed by the success of our new product launch and delighted with the level of enquires at the show. We’re looking forward to Euro Bus Expo 2020 already!” says Nick Dodgson, general manager at B.A.S.E.
“It’s amazing! Euro Bus Expo is the best opportunity for the industry to come together under one roof and it’s not to be missed. We always look forward to it every year,” says Karl Moseley, director at Moseley (PCV).
“We’re very happy with the turnout and lots of customer interest. For us, it’s the best show we’ve done this year,” says Filip Nolf, product manager at Van Hool.
“We were delighted to be able to showcase a wide range of products and new technologies at this year’s Euro Bus Expo. There was a positive atmosphere in the hall, particularly on Wednesday when we were completely overrun with visitors! The quality of visitors to our stand was particularly high, which was great to see in a market which has been tentative for much of the year,” says Caroline Szeremeta, group marketing manager at Alexander Dennis.
“We’ve enjoyed an energetic and successful Euro Bus Expo 2018 and are pleased with the number of visitors we’ve had along to our stand. Euro Bus Expo provides us with a great platform and environment to showcase Volvo Bus, its products, services and people to the UK bus and coach sector,” says Nick Page, MD for Volvo Bus UK & Ireland.
“Euro Bus Expo 2018 has been an excellent show for Optare, a fantastic platform to launch our next generation of electric buses, showcase innovations in passenger comfort and extra fuel-efficient diesel. The stand has attracted lots of interest, and we look forward to exploring opportunities with new and existing customers as a result of the event,” says Robert Drewery, commercial director – sales & marketing at Optare.
“Visitor numbers to our stand have been exceptional with record numbers taking the time to come and view our products and discuss their requirements with our sales team. While our attendance at the show has multiple benefits from brand awareness, customer appreciation and product appreciation, the key goal at the end of the day is to sell vehicles and Euro Bus Expo 2018 has delivered a record number of sales for EVM. It has been a truly rewarding experience…[and] possibly our most successful exhibition to date,” says Peter Flynn, sales and marketing manager for EVM Direct.
Scania says it enjoyed its best ever Euro Bus Expo exhibition, both in terms of orders signed at the show and with regard to visitor reaction to the news that all vehicles on the company’s stand this year were capable of being powered by renewable fuels. Martin West, new bus and coach sales director for Scania (Great Britain), explains: “Innovation, sustainability, partnerships and performance are our four key messages and all were present in abundance on our stand at this year’s show. Each vehicle on display attracted a great deal of attention in its own right but the levels of interest in alternative and renewable fuels demonstrated to us beyond doubt that the industry is now firmly focusing on operating more sustainably in the future.”
Save the date for Coach & Bus UK 2019
Next year’s event – Coach & Bus UK is already 60% sold out of exhibition space 11 months before doors open. It returns to the NEC in Birmingham on 2-3 October 2019. Euro Bus Expo will return the following year, in 2020. For further information, please visit www.coachandbusuk.com or www.eurobusxpo.com
To view a selection of images from the show, please visit www.eurobusxpo.com/euro-bus-expo-2018-photos.
Exhibitor sales enquiries to:
Martin Laverton, Group Sales Manager
t: +44 (0)1733 405735
Photo gallery: www.eurobusxpo.com/euro-bus-expo-2018-photos
Diversified Communications UK Ltd (Diversified UK) is a fast-growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, Nailsworth and London. Diversified UK’s portfolio includes Euro Bus Expo; Coach & Bus UK; routeone magazine; routeone Awards; British Tourism & Travel Show; British Coach Tourism Awards; CDC News; miniplus; and CDC Tourism Yearbook. For more information, visit: www.divcom.co.uk.
Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 14 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business. For more information, visit: www.divcom.com.