05 Aug, 2021 / BY Neil Sharp

Subcon 2021 is back: Here’s key information to help plan your visit

Subcon is the UK’s premier sub-contract manufacturing supply show, and will be held in the NEC Birmingham from 14 -16 September, 2021. It took a year off for the pandemic but is returning bigger and better in 2021. It is a must-attend event for manufacturing professionals looking to source new suppliers and secure the right partners.

Three hundred and fifty suppliers are going to be under one roof, and we are ready to showcase the very best of the British manufacturing industry.

The show offers the latest innovations in contract manufacturing services, in-house production, and product development. It is an opportunity to meet world-class suppliers from a wide array of sectors, including:

  • Automotive
  • Energy
  • Oil & Gas
  • Electronics
  • AerospaceMaterials
  • Rail and Defence 
  • Security

And, of course, the JJS team will be available throughout the show to answer any of your outsourcing questions.

This year will mark the 44th year of the exhibition, and Subcon will be co-located with The Engineer Expo, and the very popular Manufacturing Management Show.

The schedule of conference presentations will be grouped around five core topics: Advanced Manufacturing, Design & Innovation, Supply Chain Solutions, Women in Engineering, and the Supplier Network.

Confirmed speakers include: Riona Armesmith (Chief Project Engineer Hybrid Electric Propulsion: Rolls Royce Plc), Steve Banton (Channel Manager at Robotics ABB), Neil Hopkinson (Director of 3D printing at Xaar), and Mike Lawton (CEO of Oxford Space Systems).

Getting the most out of trade shows can be difficult, so to maximise your time, read this blog we wrote to help you out. If you are planning to attend this year’s event, here is a summary of everything you will need to know.


Subcon 2021 is going to be held at the NEC Birmingham:

Hall 12

North Avenue


B40 1NT

Tel: +44 (0)121 780 4141

If you’re intending to drive, the SATNAV postcode is B40 1NT. The NEC is near junction 6 of the M42 motorway, adjacent to Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International Railway.


Subcon is open for three days during September 2021. The opening hours are the following:

Tuesday 14th September

9:30 - 16:30

Wednesday 15th September

9:30 - 16:30

Thursday 16th September

9:30 - 16:00

How to get there

By car

Birmingham is at the centre of the UK motorway network, enabling visitors to travel directly from the M6, M1, M40, and M42.

By train 

The NEC is accessible via Birmingham International Train Station

  • London to Birmingham takes roughly 1.45 hours. 
  • Manchester to Birmingham takes roughly 1.30 hours.
  • Leeds to Birmingham takes roughly 2 hours.

We advise booking tickets in advance, and special rail discounts with NEC plus are available.

By plane 

Birmingham Airport offers international flights to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, North America, and the Caribbean. It is an operating base for Jet2.com, Ryanair, and TUI Airways.

Pre-book your parking

The NEC has over 16,500 spaces available, so you won’t need to search for a spot. And there are clear parking signs once your satnav has brought you to the NEC. There are many different parking options, including:


Entry to the exhibition is free of charge. Pre-register to save time queuing at the event.

Covid-19 safety 

The following measures will be taken at this year’s event to ensure the safety of exhibitors and attendees.

Upon arrival

  • Key information more frequently displayed 
  • Contactless badge scanning 
  • Reduced capacity 
  • Track & trace system supported
  • Pre-booking contactless parking  


  • Increased filtered ventilation
  • Social distancing ensured 

Keeping things clean

  • Hand sanitiser provided 
  • More frequent cleaning 
  • Hygiene screens installed 
  • Food & beverages prepackaged 
  • Only cashless payments
  • All materials digitally available  

Make the most of your visit

There are likely to be more booths to see than there is time available to visit them! So create a check-list ahead of time of all your must-see vendors and presentations. If there’s someone you’re especially keen to talk to then it’s a good idea to contact them before the show to book an appointment.

  • As the show approaches, the organisers usually release a copy of the floor-plan so you can work out the best route to include all your must-see exhibitors and avoid any unnecessary detours.
  • Make sure to schedule your appointments to allow a little buffer time between each of them, just in case a meeting runs longer than expected.
  • Set aside some time at the end of each day to review each of the vendors you spoke to, so you can compile ideas and compare notes. You might also want to make a note of any that are offering special trade show specials that you want to take advantage of.

If you'd like to chat with us about outsourcing opportunities, the JJS team will be located on Stand D59.

An Introduction to Outsourcing Your Electronics Manufacturing

Written by Neil Sharp

Neil has over 25 years’ experience in Electronics Manufacturing Services and Component Distribution. During his career, Neil has held a range of leadership positions in sales, marketing, and customer service. Neil is currently part of the ESCATEC Senior Management Team and is responsible for setting and delivering the overall Group Marketing strategy. Neil heads up the marketing department and is responsible for both the strategy and the implementation of innovative marketing campaigns designed to deliver high quality content to those seeking outsourcing solutions.