The sun shone down on a fantastic SALTEX (Sports Amenities Landscaping Trade Exhibition) at Royal Windsor this year where visitor attendance was well up on last year’s show.
The organisers report that 8,599 unique visitors attended the three-day event (3 – 5 September), compared to less than 6,500 last year, and that almost 50 per cent of exhibitors have already taken options on their stands for next year’s show.
The warm weather clearly encouraged ‘hot’ business leads and sales throughout the showground across the three days, with exhibitors reporting that the visitor profile of high-quality buyers and specifiers were there with serious intent – like Speedcut Contractors’ managing director, Dick Franklin, who visited the show specifically to buy a new John Deere 5100M from Farol. The deal was signed on the stand.
“SALTEX is the ideal benchmark for us to display new and existing products,” said Toby Clarke, sales manager for Dennis and SISIS. “There’s been a good number of visitors on all three days, which is what we want from the show.”
Earth Cycle’s Mike Jupp continued the laudatory comments: “It’s been a fantastic show. We’ve seen a range of potential customers including companies and local councils that we’ve been trying to target for ages. In fact, two new contracts sealed at SALTEX will bring in new business worth £20K this year.”
Adrian Langmead, Kubota’s business development manager for its tractor and groundscare division, said that by joining forces with two dealer partners (George Browns and Lister Wilder) SALTEX “provided an excellent platform to get in front of existing and potential customers across a variety of industries”.
The wide range of visitors to the show – open space professionals and volunteers who design, construct, manage and maintain the UK’s outdoor facilities – obviously found what they wanted from SALTEX’s equally eclectic product displays and demonstrations:
According to Stihl GB’s marketing manager, Sean Larter-Conway, “It was a tremendously successful show for us. We had a lot of interest in the cordless battery products and some good, genuine conversations with known and prospective customers about our full range”; while BLEC Global’s managing director Gary Mumby reported sales success: “This was an excellent show; we sold several items and took enquiries on a number of machines. And it was great to see foreign visitors on the stand”; and Clive Nottingham from Lloyds & Co reported a bumper year.
Visitors to Windsor Racecourse included some of the industry’s top groundsman and Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) award winners. They not only investigated the products and services on view but also enjoyed the event’s networking opportunities, which included the IOG’s popular Ask the Expert turf care advice sessions as well as the industry-focused panel debates.
The SALTEX education programme proved very popular, especially the Amenity Forum’s ‘question time’ session on pests, weeds and diseases, the tree clinic, the BIGGA-co-ordinated sessions for greenkeepers, the daily presentations concerning outdoor fitness equipment safety standards and the National Contractors Open Forum on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulations and the Biodegradable Waste Directive.
SALTEX also proved the ideal platform for the IOG to reinforce its encouragement of young people into the industry, with the launch of the Heritage Lottery-funded ‘Get Into Grounds’ exhibit. The IOG also celebrated the educational achievements of some the industry’s young up and coming groundsmen at a special graduation ceremony.
SALTEX event director Jon Gibson, summed up: “Brintex Events and the IOG are delighted with the results of this year’s show which are great building blocks in achieving all-round improvement in the event’s value to both exhibitors and visitors.
“The crucial thing is that we presented visitors with the right products and brands, and returned on the exhibitors’ collective investment. It is therefore very pleasing to have almost half of this year’s exhibitors already take an option on their stands for next year.”
Visit www.iogsaltex for exhibitor profiles, including links to product demonstration/visitor/customer endorsement videos filmed during the show, and for details and photos of all award winners.
In 2014 SALTEX (Sports Amenities Landscaping Trade Exhibition) organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and managed by Brintex Events, will be held on 2nd -4th September 2014 at Windsor Racecourse.