Our History

Modest Beginnings 1967-1971

In 1967, and again in 1970, successful wire exhibitions had been held in London. Four key figures in the UK industry had the foresight to realise that this field of engineering deserved much more focus and representation to promote its products more efficiently to both local and international markets.


Wire style exhibition organised in London occupying 2,400m2 of space


Foundation of the Wire Machinery Association (WMA)

Second wire exhibition in UK

Formative Years 1971-1974

An inaugural meeting of the WMA took place in Birmingham, England in June 1971.

The WMA was founded as a not-for-profit corporate association, and an annual membership fee of £100 per company was set, a figure that compares very favourably with the subscription cost in 2010.

From 1971 to 1974 the WMA organised a series of technical conferences in the main wire and cable production areas in the Midlands and North of England.


Inaugural meeting held in Birmingham, UK in June to adopt the constitution of WMA


Series of technical conferences held in UK by WMA


First international version of wire exhibition held in Basle and subsequently every even year until 1984

WMA sponsors exhibitor group at American Wire Convention for first time


John Hogg becomes Executive Secretary

First wire drawing conference held

Technical Sub Committee (TSC) formed

Annual Meet-the-Customer lunch held for first time in Manchester, UK

Developing Internationally

In 1974 a conference on the subject of "Wire Drawing" was held at the University of Aston in the UK, an event that could really be deemed the first truly international one organised by the WMA.

By the beginning of 1975 the WMA had sixty six corporate members, including many new ones from overseas.

This international membership continued to develop as the Association increased the frequency of its technical events and began to organise them in other countries


First members’ dinner dance held in Stratford-on-Avon

Membership has grown to 66 corporate members, many international

Agreement reached to sponsor a national wire exhibition held in Manchester, UK


Change of name from Wire Machinery Association to International Wire & Machinery Association (IWMA)


IWMA-organised conference on tube production and processing in Birmingham, UK leads to foundation of the International Tube Association in 1979.

Inaugural golf day


Award of HW Bennett President’s Trophy, designed by Philip Clayton, for best technical paper at an IWMA conference to first recipients T Sullivan and AJ Willis

Decade of Change 1980 - 1990

After being moved from London in 1972, the wire exhibition held in Basle, Switzerland every two years had grown considerably in size and stature

Together with other major exhibitors, a number of these IWMA members responded to the need for an International Advisory Committee (IAC) to liaise with trade fair organisers, to consider the best location for what had become by 1982 the wire and cable industry’s most important event.

This committee was eventually to provide the platform for exhibitors to support the move from Basle to Düsseldorf, Germany in 1986.


Collaboration with Wire Association for first Interwire exhibition in Atlanta


International Advisory Committee (IAC) formed, subsequently becoming the International Exhibitors Committee (IEC)

IWMA sponsors Wire Asia in Singapore, first conference and exhibition in Southeast Asia


IEC and IWMA influential in liaising with Messe Düsseldorf to move away from Basle to create the 'wire' international wire & cable fair


Inaugural wire exhibition in Düsseldorf


IWMA registers its charitable organisation The IWMA Educational Trust Fund


First edition of Wire & Cable International Directory, published yearly until 2001


Introduction of first Wire & Cable News (WCN) as official newsletter of the IWMA

Increasing Influence

By the middle of the 1990s the IWMA's surviving "founding fathers" would have been delighted that their fledgling organisation in 1970 had become such an influential industry association, with an impressive three hundred members in forty-nine countries, representing manufacturers of wire, cable and wire components as well as machinery and equipment suppliers.

The IWMA organised no fewer than sixteen technical conferences during this decade, in locations as far afield as Geneva, Germany, Hong Kong, Krakow, Italy, UK, Austria and Singapore, further enhancing its worldwide reputation for the promotion of technology exchange and education.


Sponsorship agreement with NOWEA (later Messe Düsseldorf ) for wire Düsseldorf exhibition signed in November


First Educational Trust Fund bursary awarded to Miss Huo Bingshan from China


Conception and sponsorship of wire Singapore in collaboration with the IWCEA and the consortium of European national associations – VDKM, AWCMA, ACIMAF and AFIEF

Sponsorship agreement for wire Singapore between IWMA and Messe Düsseldorf signed in April


Worldwide corporate membership of IWMA reaches 300 organisations in 49 countries

Exhibition space at wire Düsseldorf exceeds 43,000m2 with 170 IWMA member exhibitors

Into the New Millenium

By the middle of the 1990s the IWMA had grown to an impressive three hundred members in forty-nine countries, representing manufacturers of wire, cable and wire components as well as machinery and equipment suppliers.

Embracing the new era of IT, the IWMA launched its independent website www.iwma.org in 2001, and in the same year replaced the very successful Wire & Cable International Directory with the online, real time directory website www.wirefirst.com.

Despite the economic downturn and global recession that started in 2008, and the inevitable consequences for the wire and cable industry, the IWMA successfully maintained its membership numbers.


Creation of IWMA Educational Trust Fund Travel Award


IWMA website launched: www.iwma.org>

Wire & Cable International Directory replaced by www.wirefirst.com directory website


Affiliation agreement with Italian machinery association Associazione Costruttori Italiani Macchine per Filo (ACIMAF)

IWMA signs sponsorship agreement in October for wire Russia 2003 exhibition with Messe Düsseldorf


First wire Russia exhibition in Moscow, sponsored by IWMA

Affiliation agreement with USA-based Wire & Cable Industry Suppliers Association (WCISA)

Agreement signed in July with Messe Düsseldorf for IWMA to sponsor wire China 2004


Inaugural wire China exhibition in Shanghai, sponsored by IWMA

Death of IWMA Founder and Secretary General John Hogg


WCN newsletter upgraded to full colour

IWMA sponsors first Metaltech exhibition in Brazil


IWMA travel award renamed John C Hogg Travel Award


Website redesigned

Inaugural wire Southeast Asia exhibition in Bangkok, relocated from Singapore, sponsored by IWMA


New IWMA logo

wire Düsseldorf exhibition records 1,130 exhibitors occupying 53,584m2 of space

Electronic version (e-zine) of WCN launched

New trophies introduced for best ferrous and non-ferrous technical conference papers.

IWMA sponsors Wire & Cable India exhibition in Mumbai


Istanbul Cable & Wire 09 conference becomes the 48th technical event to be organised or co-organised by the IWMA since 1970


IWMA is 40 years old

Commemorative history of archive book published, tracing association development


5th biennial technical conference co-organised by leading industry associations re-branded to "CabWire"


Brand new IWMA stand design at wire Dusseldof


Inaugural wire South America exhibition in Sao Paulo, Brazil supported by IWMA

New IWMA corporate identity

2nd edition of CabWire world technical conference held in Milan, Italy. 6th biennial conference co-organised by industry associations and 50th technical conference organised or co-organised by IWMA.


wire Dusseldorf exhibition records 58,500m2 of space occupied by 1,300 exhibiting companies, a 2% increase on previous show

IWMA office re-located to Solihull, UK


New IWMA web site launched

Download the IWMA 40th Anniversary Booklet