The 72nd SALTEX exhibition recorded attendance of 8909, its highest total since moving to the NEC, Birmingham.
“An excellent show in 2017,” said Jeremy Hoyle, director at Earlsmere. “Enquiries on the stand were up 15% on last year, and we gained a number of significant leads with sports turf professionals, schools and colleges featuring heavily within our stand attendee list.”
Nathan George, contracts manager for MJ Abbott, said: “Having the opportunity to speak to potential new customers – as well as current customers – is invaluable when continuing growth into a new market, and that is why such an emphasis is placed on attending shows, with the large number of attendees and decision makers a particular highlight for the company at this year’s SALTEX.”
“We were really impressed with the amount of customers visiting our stand this year. SALTEX TV was excellent too, perfect for promoting a new product,” said Holly Jones, marketing manager for Reesink Turfcare.
After a 16-year absence from SALTEX, LWS Irrigation returned this year, and director Simon Edginton said: “We were delighted with the huge amount of leads we received from a wide sector of the industry including football, golf, cricket and bowls facilities. The large number of visitors created a great atmosphere, and we caught up with many existing customers and industry colleagues to share news and developments. We certainly won’t be waiting so long to exhibit again.”
Price Turfcare is a newly established business founded by Ransomes Jacobsen’s former sales director, Rupert Price. He commented: “Our first visit to SALTEX has been a very positive experience. One of our aims was to look for new dealer partners and this worked well.”
With more than 300 exhibitors showcasing their products and services, SALTEX visitors were treated to an impressive line-up of world-class innovation.
“There are so many fantastic products and it’s nice to be able to see them and have a good close-up look before you make any purchases,” commented Stuart Kerrison, Essex CCC head groundsman.
Hannah Richards, gardener for the National Trust, said: “We are always looking for new ways to do things, new products and new machines, and SALTEX gives us this opportunity.”
Chris Wood, pitches consultant at England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), suggested that SALTEX is a place where some of the greatest industry ideas are born: “The value of a show like this is being able to talk to colleagues and share ideas. It’s a place to challenge exhibitors about new technology, and that’s how new innovation comes about. I’ve been in this business for 50 years, and the opportunities for young groundsmen now, compared to when I first started, are profound.”
Learning LIVE, SALTEX’s education programme, featured more than 100 high-profile speakers and 26 hours of free seminars.
SALTEX 2018 will be at the NEC, Birmingham on 31 October and 1 November.