Registrations up 15%……. BTME Harrogate Week January 22-26

BIGGA’s 25th Anniversary year, is taking place from 22nd to 26th January. It’s a combination of education, investigation and integration and sees educational workshops and seminars combine with the trade turf management exhibition BTME and numerous social gatherings
Course Managers, Greenkeepers, Groundsmen and Landscapers alike are assured of finding something to increase their knowledge to help in their day to day activities. The exhibition encompasses every product in the industry including machinery, course furniture, fertilisers, wetting agents, groundcare machinery & equipment, irrigation, mowers, soil biology, spraying, turf and seeds, artificial grass, water, lake & pond management and so much more.
BTME 2012 visitor registrations are up 15% on the same time last – especially the Continue to Learn programme where a number of workshops are already full.
This year’s education programme has been formulated using a combination of delegate feedback from 2011, whilst retaining some of the favourites from other years. This has been supplemented with ideas from BIGGA Members along with the introduction of new subjects that are relevant to the industry. The aim of the programme is to offer as much variety as possible to appeal to the widest possible audience, but everything in the programme is relevant to the industry, including topics related to new legislation.
All aspects of maintaining the playing surface is covered seeing Personal Development advice rubbing shoulders with new topics such as Employee Engagement, IT Administration Skills, Climate Change and Golf Course Photography.
Delegates will find variety and exposure to different ideas and ways of learning from established speakers as well as new ones, like Dr Frank Rossi, from Cornell University. Frank is a very charismatic and engaging speaker and will be presenting a one day workshop on Progressive Cultural Management Programs. He will also speak at the Turf Managers Conference on Practically Sustainable Golf Turf Management and present a Seminar session on Redefining.
Delegates sometimes only have to make a case to themselves, but in some cases they may have to persuade others. So how should you go about making a strong, irrefutable, case for your attendance? The Landscaper spoke to Jim Croxton, BIGGA CEO, to give us his thoughts on helping anybody considering attending but not made their mind up, or not been given the green light.
Is it a worthwhile exercise to attend and how would you define it?
“The person or people who make the decision to attend will be looking for clearly defined benefits that the time out is well spent. Start by identifying which Workshops would be most beneficial to you and your employer, or who you are particularly keen to listen to in the Education Conference or Seminar Sessions. Doing this can strengthen your case and increases your chances of being given the OK.
What would you say a delegate would get out of attending?
“Each delegate would get something different as it would depend on what they set out to achieve. No sensible decision should be made until an understanding is made on just how valuable the benefits could be to their job; especially if they are relying on others to make the final decision. The key issue is to link attendance to specific issues at work. If it is related to purchasing then list the relevant exhibitors and outline the time it would take to properly research their products and arrange meetings with them, an exhibition is always an efficient way of comparing products and services. In terms of Professional Development I’d suggest they take a look at the ‘Continue to Learn’ programme and highlight the relevant Workshop, Conference or Seminar session(s) that they would be able to implement back at work. It is important to recognise the value of attending such educational events, with top quality speakers, as the opportunity to tap into their knowledge does not come around too often.”
How would you justify it as time well spent?
“To get the best out of a visit, networking in the Exhibition Halls and carrying out research as to the latest in machinery and grass care, takes up a lot of shoe leather. Attending Workshops and Education Conferences is also hard work as well; nobody should view it as a jolly! Most visitors will be working through lunch intervals and maximising the opportunity that attending Harrogate gives them, I know of delegates in previous years that have produced a report showing who they spoke with; what they took away from the week and any solutions they identified. Something like that will prove that it was not only time well spent, but money well spent too.”
A FREE ‘Park and Ride’ service is available from the Great Yorkshire Showground to Harrogate International Centre (HIC) on all three days of the conference and exhibition. Delegates planning to drive to Harrogate should use this service, which will help avoid any traffic problems in the town and save having to find a parking space. Near to the Centre are 300 car parking spaces at the Harrogate International Centre itself, and a further 1,200 nearby.