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NMIS (National Manufacturing Institute Scotland) 


Manufacturing a Net-Zero Future


We were approached by NMIS after winning the Manufacturing and Industrial Award at the 2021 C&IT Awards.


After a vigorous tender process, we were awarded the contract with

3-weeks to turn the event around.


We love a challenge!

NMIS logo
Net-zero future logo

The Concept:

The one-day NMIS conference was being held as part of the organisation’s wider COP26 communications campaign.


Almost 300 delegates representing global manufacturers, world-leading research and technology organisations and innovative market disruptors joined academic researchers and government representatives to discuss the challenges and aspirations for sustainable manufacturing. ‘Manufacturing a Net-Zero Future’ was designed to ensure key players in the industry collaborate to drive efficiencies, reduce waste and lead the way in the fight against the climate emergency.

Billboard mockup

The Experience:

We embraced the theme of COP26, using recyclable or reusable graphics, shell schemes and event structures, encouraging delegates to use public or shared transport, provided water refill stations, partnered with food redistribution companies, energy efficient equipment and implemented 'power-off policies' for all equipment when not in use. The event also featured a social media campaign, online delegate registration, an event website and conference app.


To bring the event to life, we had to overcame a broad range of logistical issues presented by the venue  – an industrial warehouse space. Meticulous planning ensured access, heating, lighting and audio-visual challenges were overcome to transform the building into an inspiring venue.  With audience interaction a top priority, we created an ’in-the-round’ stage complete with 360-degree screens. Delegates were given headsets, enabling keynote speakers and panelists to interact with visitors throughout the building. 


A dedicated exhibition space featured 25 trade stands including a selection of electric vehicles including a double-decker bus, excavator, and sports car chassis alongside demonstrations of novel manufacturing technologies to highlight the importance of resource efficient manufacturing.

Onsite photo


Deborah Findlay, NMIS head of communications, said: 

“The buzz around the event even led to a visit from the official Sri Lankan Government COP26 delegation who heard about the conference while attending the nearby summit in Glasgow and decided to find out more about the novel work being done by manufacturers to combat the climate emergency. It was the icing on the cake of an outstanding conference, one I believe will be a line in the sand for the Scottish manufacturing community.”

The success of the event has led to early-stage plans regarding a further conference in 2022.

Check out our feature in Conference News: Click here. 

"The speed with which XSEM responded to the many and varied logistical challenges of creating a stand-out event in such a tight timeframe and in an industrial workshop space was quite remarkable. It was a huge ask but the team was more than up for the challenge, delivering an unforgettable experience for delegates and helping raise the profile of sustainable manufacturing across the globe."


Deborah Findlay, NMIS Head of Communications

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