Harrogate Week 2009, the amenity turf industry’s event of the year run by the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), held up extremely well in the face of the financial downturn.
Attendance figures for the three day Exhibition were actually well up on the equivalent show in 2007, the last occasion it occupied Halls A, B, C and M (Hall Q was also used in 2008 as the major machinery manufacturers who exhibit every other year were in attendance). A total of 7,638 visitors attended the Show as against 6,653, in ’07, with 8,641 attending the bigger ’08 Harrogate Week.
In addition, 1,857 visitors took advantage of the many educational events which stretched over five days. The workshops and seminars proved extremely popular and showed the desire among turf professionals to keep up to date in a fast moving ever- changing industry.
“We are delighted with the success of Harrogate Week 2009. The feedback we have had from exhibitors and visitors has been extremely positive and reinforces our belief that Harrogate Week offers a unique opportunity for the industry to come together once a year for mutual benefit,” said BIGGA chief executive, John Pemberton.
Among the exhibitors Penfold pronounced themselves to be ‘very pleased’ with attending the Harrogate Show.
“It was an excellent opportunity to showcase our new collection of range balls and to explain to the trade that Penfold had returned to the golf ball market with both high quality playing balls and the finest collection of range golf balls,” said chief executive William Baird.
Steven Nixon, UK & Ireland sales manager for Bernhard & Company, said, “Bernhard and Company were pleasantly surprised by BTME. Attendee traffic was consistent and everyone’s attitude was upbeat. To us, this was very encouraging.”
“Customers were delighted that the future supply of range golf balls made in the Seoul Nassau factory in Korea were now available from a reliable supplier. Many range owners has been confused as to the ongoing supply of these high quality range balls and Harrogate was the perfect place to see many customers and the golf trade in general.”
“The show for us was good in general,” said Brian Swinden, manager Yamaha Golf Cars. “Our view is that it was busy despite all the doom and gloom and the fact that the so called ‘big three’ we not there. On the Yamaha stand we saw a wide variety of customers both course and dealers along with a number of supplier‘s. New business enquiries where also of a good standard and as usual the show was a good meeting point for the trade and also for networking.”
“We’re maintaining a positive attitude because ultimately we think that the business is going to be out there,” said Stephen Fell from Lindum Turf. “When the weather improves everybody’s spirits will perk up. We are taking the view that we need to maintain our stocks of good quality products because people will want them. Certainly the turf side is not something that you can switch on and off at will.”
“The Show is an important flag-waving exercise for us,” he continued. “We see people here that we don’t see for the rest of the year so it’s a chance to sit down with them and talk. We’ve had a lot of interest and we will be sending out a lot of quotes as a result.”
Harrogate Week 2010 will be held in the third week in January 2010. The Education Programme will run from 17th to 21st January with the Exhibition running from Tuesday 19th January to Thursday 21st January.
Harrogate Week www.harrogateweek.org.uk