Vicky Panniers, event organiser of the Sports and Grounds Expo (SAGE) speaks with The Landscaper Magazine
What is the history behind SAGE?
Located at the Three Countries Showground in Malvern, SAGE is unique in offering exhibitors the chance to demo kit for visitors, no matter the size of the equipment! When SALTEX moved indoors, we spotted that there was still a demand for a tradeshow where you get the chance to demo equipment. So, SAGE was designed to fill this huge gap in the sports and grounds maintenance exhibition industry.
The Three Counties Showground is the perfect venue for SAGE due to its central location, fantastic transport links, and beautiful surroundings. We also have a great deal with the venue, which helps keep our costs low for exhibitors. With the price of exhibiting at events becoming increasingly expensive, SAGE can still offer unbeatably low prices. 2023 will be the 3rd year SAGE is exhibiting at Malvern.
What is SAGE’s USP?
Having a USP for an event is vital for its success and longevity. The large outdoor space, which allows exhibitors to demo their kit, is a facility unique to SAGE that we are proud to provide. When first launched, providing the industry with this outdoor exhibiting space, at incredible value for money, was at the core of SAGE. However, every year, SAGE is constantly developing and adapting to the industry to ensure it is the very best it can be for both exhibitors and visitors. Going into the 3rd year of SAGE, we are placing a huge emphasis on sustainability.
Over the last two years, SAGE has built up many strong partnerships across the industry, including our 2023 partners GRASS and Bio-Circle. Working with both partners has added a whole new dimension to the event – introducing the focus on sustainability. SAGE took the leap of faith to back GRASS, making SAGE the home event for GRASS. GRASS is now an award-winning forum, taking home the Green Apple award.
SAGE has not only made a commitment to be as sustainable as possible from within, but has now aligned with the all-new Green Business Expo, which will take place alongside SAGE this summer. The Green Business Expo will open the doors for all industries to share expertise and collaborate in order to accelerate business’ journeys to net zero.
Visitors will see SAGE & The Green Business Expo as a must for summer 2023.
With this new sustainable focus and outdoor facilities, SAGE stands out from the other tradeshows and offers a unique exhibition. Both visitors and exhibitors will find something different about SAGE that they can’t get anywhere else.
What can visitors in 2023 look forward to?
Every year we try to make it better than the last, and this year is set to be a particularly exciting year with the launch of the Green Business Expo. This will bring a brand-new element to the exhibition and encourage a wider range of visitors to attend. With more expected visitors than ever before, there will be a bigger buzz on the day, meaning a bigger networking event as well.
We are also introducing a new interactive Learning Hub, creating a bigger central demo arena, and offering a more inclusive, engaging, and larger-scale networking event.
With more exciting plans in the pipeline, more information will be announced soon!
For exhibitors a trade show enables them to network, capture leads and generate sales. Are trade shows in general delivering on this?
Since Covid, we have seen a large shift in exhibitor and visitor expectations. People are looking for a more interactive, immersive experience. This is why we have such an emphasis on ‘try before you buy’ – we know visitors are not justthere to buy products, as this is something they can easily do online! We offer a hands-on demo experience that can’t be achieved with online shopping or at other indoor trade shows. For exhibitors, this helps to generate sales and increase their brand exposure.
A major drawback to some of the other events throughout the year is the hefty price tag to exhibit, making it inaccessible for many potential exhibitors. SAGE’s incredible value for money is unparalleled and attractive to many exhibitors. The fantastic onsite facilities are all available without additional added costs, such as free parking and electric hook-up.
We believe trade shows need to realise that there is much more to an exhibition than stalls! This year we will also have interactive shows, demos, conferences, networking events, and talks with industry experts, as well as live music, food trucks, and a bar!