Engineering and manufacturing expo Durham Oktoberfest is re-branding as EMCON to reflect 10 years of growth.

Over 50 invited delegates from the North East’s business community were told the news at a breakfast launch at Ramside Hall Hotel this week.

The event, which launched in 2008 to give businesses from County Durham the chance to showcase their products and services to potential customers, is now regarded as one of the best for the sectors anywhere in the country.

And after reviewing feedback from exhibitors, visitors and sponsors, and the event’s ever-increasing ability to attract national and international companies, organisers felt a change of identity was needed to give it the profile it now commands.

David Land is Chairman of County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN), which organises EMCON. He said: “For some time we’ve been aware that the name didn’t really reflect the event, which is certainly now a national expo.

“And while we want to be clear that we’re not moving away from EMCON’s history and heritage as a County Durham event, we do want it to continue to attract the biggest and best engineering and manufacturing names from around the UK, and we believe the new identity will help us achieve that.

“It really is about looking to the future and building on what’s been achieved over the last decade, and ensuring we have an event that not only enables companies from County Durham and the North East to promote themselves, but also gives leading names within the industries an opportunity to meet potential suppliers who could make a real difference to the quality of products they make and their bottom line.

“Watch this space for big news in the coming weeks too, as we look to gain momentum for EMCON and this year’s event.”

EMCON will continue to be held at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe, with long term sponsor Business Durham remaining as one of the event’s main supporters.

Brian Archer is Managing Director of Business Durham. He said: “EMCON is a real highlight for County Durham and really does help shine the national spotlight on our area and our world class capabilities within the engineering and manufacturing industries.”

Graeme Parkins is Managing Director of Dyer Engineering, who were one of the founding companies of the event back in 2008. He said: “Every year the event has grown, attracting more and more bigger companies from not just our region but nationally as well. We also know first-hand how good it is, enabling exhibitors and delegates to forge links with potential customers and suppliers, and we’re looking forward to being part of the next decade of its growth.”

The 2018 event will also see the return of the Incubator Zone, which is taking place for the second time and is aimed specifically at County Durham micro and small businesses that have never exhibited before but want to tap into new markets. It is being delivered by LEC Communications and Design working with the Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) with European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding.

Other elements include an Education Zone for young engineers to meet regional employers; themed workshops on issues that impact on businesses; and a Q&A session with a panel of industry experts.

The event returns on Thursday, October 18. For updates, or to book as an exhibitor, visit

*** EMCON stands for the Engineering and Manufacturing Convention, however the event will be known as EMCON. ***