The conference that bills itself as “the most significant manufacturing event of the year” in South Carolina returns in person this Fall when the SC Manufacturing Conference and Expo takes over the Greenville Convention Center November 10th-12th. As one of the largest such events in the Southeast, it is presented by SC Biz News, publishers of the Charleston Regional Business Journal, and a host of publications around the state.
The conference features a plethora of training sessions, speakers, networking opportunities, and the annual Salute to Manufacturing Awards Luncheon. Both Governor Henry McMaster and Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette will make appearances.
Manufacturing a Key Business Sector in South Carolina
Advanced manufacturing is a critical area of economic development throughout the state and specifically in the Charleston area. With a mission of enabling the development of an educated workforce, The Lowcountry Graduate Center has identified advanced manufacturing, along with engineering, software development, and IT services as a core sector for graduate education.
Entry to the floor of the convention center, which covers about three football fields of space, costs just $25 and provides access to 200+ exhibitors; networking opportunities with an estimated 3,000 guests; and the Department of Commerce exhibit, which will feature its own scheduled presentations.
Also on tap is a wide variety of trainings, seminars, and panel discussions about the advance manufacturing industry whose impact in the Palmetto state is estimated at roughly $200 billion and 30% of the state’s jobs. The South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP) will present training and informational sessions on the most urgent industry topics: workforce development, manufacturing 4.0, supply chain, risk management, project management, and energy management. Specific sessions will focus on leadership, recruitment, and retention, AI, VR, logistics, and more.
The industry awards luncheon has been the biggest draw in recent years. Awards will be handed out by the Governor, himself.
Why is the SC Manufacturing Conference Important?
McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, which designs high-tech domestic and foreign direct manufacturing facilities, is a sponsor of the event. “Despite tremendous challenges related to the ongoing pandemic and resulting supply chain disruptions, manufacturing in South Carolina has remained incredibly resilient. Sponsoring the SC Manufacturing Conference in another way we support our partners who are driving South Carolina job growth, sustainability, and innovation in this industry,” said Bill Joslin, the company’s Industrial Segment Director.
Other feature events are likely to draw large crowds as well:
- Leadership Event – This was still being finalized in August, but will explore options for managing processes, procedures and people. Of special benefit to human resource professionals, the program will offer SHRM/HRCI continuing education credits.
- Implementing Industry 4.0 Technology – While implementing the next generation of technology is an existential imperative, many manufacturers large and small find the process painful and challenging. Expert speakers will help them navigate the treacherous waters of technology adaptation.
- Women in Manufacturing – This panel discussion moderated by the Lieutenant Governor is an annual event that grows every year as women increase their presence in the manufacturing sector.
- Driving Change: The Future of Electric Vehicles in South Carolina – Both Volvo Cars and Mercedes Benz Vans have recently announced commitments to produce all-electric fleets at their manufacturing plants north of Charleston within the decade. How will that affect employment, supply chain, sales and the state’s economy and environment? “This is of interest to everyone,” said Melissa Tomberg, associate conference director of SC Biz News.
- 2022 Economic Outlook: Auto, Aerospace and Biotech – In this time of extreme uncertainty, everyone wants to know what lies ahead. Industry experts will present their outlooks for these three key Palmetto State industries.
“This is for anyone who touches manufacturing, from people in the staffing industry, suppliers, plant managers, marketers for manufacturers, aerospace, supply chain – literally anybody connected to the industry,” said Tomberg. “We have such a wide variety of exhibitors from all facets of the industry that everyone can learn something from it.”
All-access passes cost $300 and are already on sale here. The 2022 Economic Outlooks will also be live-streamed to those unable to attend in person. Tickets for that are also available online.
Tomberg says the conference has become so popular, and demand is so pent up for in-person interactions, that more exhibitors than ever from out of state are descending on the conference this year.
Lowcountry Graduate Center Director, Nancy Muller, having attended the conference in past years, commented, “This is a must-attend event for anyone wishing to work in or serve this vital sector of our economy. The event is bustling with energy and need-to-know information and experts.”