The SALTEX (Sports Amenities Landscaping Exhibition) 2019 reports on a record breaking two days with more than 500 brands on display and 9,104 visitors in attendance.
Visitors packed the halls to see the latest technologically-advanced innovations in grounds management. The show attracted visitors from the UK and abroad working in or involved with groundscare, sports turf, amenities, estates and green-space management.
SALTEX College Cup
The SALTEX College Cup competition, sponsored by Toro and Reesink, demonstrated just how well young groundscare students are being academically prepared for careers in the industry. The Myerscough College team saw off competition from four other colleges to win this year’s trophy and can now look forward to a visit to Real Madrid’s Bernabéu Stadium where the winning students will get the opportunity to learn from Paul Burgess, director of grounds and environment for the Spanish footballing giants.
The competition was just a number of show attractions and the new Eco Village indoor demonstration area made a storming debut. In a dedicated area on the show floor the Eco Village featured a programme of daily product demonstrations which featured cutting-edge sustainable technology by Fleet Line Markers, STIHL UK, Overton UK, Avant Tecno, Cub Cadet, Linddana, Husqvarna, Allett Mowers and Sherriff Amenity in front of a large crowd of show attendees.
SALTEX Innovation Award
This year’s SALTEX Innovation Award also caught the eye of many. From robotics to hybrid mowers, ground printers to state-of-the-art irrigation, grow lights to line trimmers – visitors had the opportunity to see the record-breaking 34 entries on the show floor.
The three stand-out innovations were – the Forza 360° football goal wheels from Net World Sports, the BU50 grow lighting system from SGL and the INFINICUT® SM34 rotary mower from MTD Specialty Turf Products.
The three finalists were given a final opportunity to impress the judges as they took to the stage and the INFINICUT® SM34 rotary mower was pronounced the overall winner. Second place went to SGL and third place went to Net World Sports.
The INFINICUT® gained rave reviews with the panel of judges claiming that it “has taken the rotary mower into the 21st century,” and that “the revolutionary introduction of a side collector has allowed for rollers, not wheels, thus eliminating wheel marks on the turf.”
An increasing number of manufacturers on the show floor were also showcasing eco-friendly products. As well as those demonstrating in the Eco Village, exhibitors such as Pellenc, John Deere, Ego, Ryetec, Demon International, AMS Robotics, McConnel and Dennis Mowers all used SALTEX to launch new robotic and battery-powered products.
“These innovations have low vibrations, are environmentally friendly and great for health and safety – all things that help people on the ground like me. It’s great to see so many of these machines in one place,” says John Ryan, founder of the Lawn Care Legends online networking community.
Commenting on the effects of the record-breaking attendance at this year’s show, many exhibitors thought that a large proportion of visitors to their stands were high-quality buyers with serious intent.
“We’ve exhibited at a lot of shows in the past couple of years, but this has been the busiest show that I have ever experienced,” said Jordan Watson, grounds care field support for STIHL UK.
Echoing Jordan’s comments, Les Malin, managing director of Etesia UK, said: “We’ve been a long-term exhibitor at SALTEX for over 20 years and I can honestly say that I cannot remember a show were we had so much activity and people on the stand right to the end of both days.”
According to sales manager, George Potter, debut exhibitor JCB enjoyed a hugely successful first SALTEX experience: “We’ve had lots of people on the stand, a huge number of enquiries and quite a lot of demo requests, which has been great.”
All eyes now turn towards SALTEX 2020 the exhibition’s 75th anniversary which returns to the NEC, Birmingham on 4 and 5 November, 2020.