Surfex September Open Day

On 12 September exhibitors, supporting organisations and partners joined the organisers of Surfex 2020 at the Ricoh Arena Coventry for the first Open Day.

This industry meeting was an opportunity to hear about the new content designed to attract the leading visitors that every exhibitor wants to meet. It gave exhibitors the chance to put any questions to the organisers Step Exhibitions and OCCA whilst the BCF outlined how they will be supporting Surfex in 2020.

The exhibition, visitor incentives, seminar programme, promotional opportunities and the return of the Surfex/ OCCA Dinner were all covered.

There was also a fully constructed shell scheme stand with graphic panels so that everyone with this option and potential exhibitors could see all the options available.

Richard Gilkes, Surfex Limited, welcomed the 35 attendees and opened the meeting at 11.00. He provided an exhibitors point of view and discussed the value of Surfex.

Tania Morrill, BCF, gave a market overview before explaining how the BCF are working with Step Exhibitions to encourage stand bookings from their Associate Members and also how they will promote Surfex to their Full Members increasing the number of technical staff attending the exhibition and conference.

Tania explained the extensive content the BCF will present as part of Industry Insight, the marketing plan they have in place and their inventive way to increase pre-registration. In 1998 the BCF issued a UK Coatings Industry market report, they are putting together a 2020 version which BCF members who pre-register can pick up for free on their stand in the exhibition. The goal is to not only encourage pre-registration but also ensure visitors attend.

Robert Kyte, Step Exhibitions, presented how the organisers plan to build on the success of the 2018 event by delivering a comprehensive display of what the leading industry participants can offer.

He also introduced the seminar content for 2020 which will be the largest in Surfex’s history. The five parallel streams will bring added technical value to the event and will feature over 40 Exhibitor presentations and workshops as well as sessions by:

  • The Oil & Colour Chemists Association (OCCA)
  • British Coatings Federation (BCF)
  • British Adhesives & Sealants Association (BASA)
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry – Surface Coatings Interest Group (RSC – SCIG)
  • The Nanotechnology Industry Association (NIA)
  • The Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA)

Plus a session on graphene courtesy of the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre.

The new for 2020 University sessions – The Cutting Edge was also discussed. Academic contributions from Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Salford, UCL and Warwick were all announced.

To conclude the formal meeting part of the morning Ann- Marie Etherington of OCCA explained that the popular networking event The Surfex/ OCCA Dinner will return in 2020. It will again be an excellent ending to the first day and held upstairs at the Ricoh Arena with a three-course meal and casino tables. Booking will begin in 2020.

Following the presentations attendees enjoyed a buffet lunch whilst networking with their peers and the organisers.

If you were unable to attend the Open Day and would like a copy of the Step Exhibitions presentation or have any other questions please contact

open day stand - Surfex Sep Image