The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), has underlined its continuing confidence in the strength of SALTEX by committing to its own dedicated area at the show, which will be held at the NEC, Birmingham on 1 and 2 November 2017.
Founded in 1972, BALI is the leading trade association in the UK, promoting,supporting and inspiring professional landscapers, landscape contractors, grounds maintenance contractors, interior landscapers, suppliers and garden designers to be leaders of an environmentally, ethically and commercially sustainable landscape industry. BALI is also a member of the Amenity Forum. With 1,700 members in total, over 850 of which are fully registered, covering 50 disciplines including irrigation, hydroseeding, golf course construction, soft landscaping including turf and sports ground and leisure facilities.
Many BALI members have also been long-standing SALTEX exhibitors and the association strongly believes that the show provides an ideal platform for these same organisations to connect with existing trade contacts and secure new business.
"Due to the reputable nature of the show, BALI has supported the event for many years," said marketing and communications manager Darren Taylor. "I think it is a great venue in a fantastic location and the event creates the perfect opportunity to meet up with current BALI members and to talk to potential new ones, particularly those organisations offering turf care services, sports amenity and the provision of playground equipment."
He continued, "By having the BALI Zone at this year's SALTEX, previously labelled as the Village, we want visitors to feel like they have walked into a dedicated BALI hub area that promotes a level of excellence in quality that only comes from fully vetted landscape professionals. Any visitor that approaches BALI or any of its members exhibiting in the zone are guaranteed the highest level of service along with the best quality materials that BALI is known for within the trade."
It has already been confirmed that BALI registered Affiliate members Green-tech, M&M Timber and Boningale Nurseries will be exhibiting within the BALI Zone, and Darren believes that by offering such a varied product line-up, it will attract a wide range of visitors from throughout the main hall.
"Already we've got three different members offering three very different product ranges. We've got exceptional quality nursery stock through Boningale; market leading round timber products and street furniture courtesy of M&M and a wide variety of award-winning landscaping materials and wholesale garden supplies from Green-tech. BALI will also be championing the importance of environmentally friendly, sustainable and renewable green products on the Zone and will be working closely with members to provide a comprehensive and attractive offering for stand visitors."
BALI is working closely with SALTEX organisers to provide leading industry speakers for this year's Learning LIVE - SALTEX's all-encompassing, free-to-attend education programme.
"Thinking specifically about SALTEX and its audience, I think one of the most prevalent issues for us to explore further as part of Learning LIVE is the use of public parks, in terms of local council's potentially charging for the public to use them due to the lack of Government funding and subsequently the repercussions this may have on BALI's grounds maintenance contractors.
"Our chief executive, Wayne Grills, has an active seat on the Parks Alliance board, and through this Alliance, BALI has contributed to the Government's most recent Local Government Committee's Public Parks Report, published earlier this year. We also have our BALI National Contractor's Forum (BALI-NCF), which represents some of the UK's major grounds maintenance contractors working on large contracts up and down the country.
Although not confirmed at this stage, I believe a speaker representing each of these two groups would provide fascinating and informative discussions."
Darren continues "Ultimately, parks and green spaces provide a whole range of health benefits for the public, and so you have to question what happens when those spaces are not maintained. It's an interesting issue and one worth exploring further."
Commenting on BALI's support for SALTEX 2017, IOG CEO Geoff Webb said: "We are delighted to once again have BALI's presence at SALTEX this year. We have a long history of collaboration since the event'early years at Windsor Racecourse. BALI's expertise brings with it companies who provide a wider offering to SALTEX which links the sports turf and landscaping sectors together at one major industry event at one venue - providing more choice for visitors and a greater range of product innovation."