As SALTEX 2016 came to a close, it was apparent among exhibitors and visitors that Europe’s largest annual turf management event has found its rightful home at the NEC in Birmingham.
SALTEX 2016 was taken to a new level after an independent audit confirmed that the combined attendance over the two day exhibition totalled an impressive 8,754.
With 292 exhibitors (28 more than 2015), increased show features, an enhanced education programme and extended floor space which saw three exhibition halls packed with an overwhelming number of UK and international visitors – it was clear to see that SALTEX is growing.
SALTEX 2016 also encouraged serious business leads and significant sales, with exhibitors reporting that visitors were high-quality buyers with serious intent.
Gabriella Fox – sports sales and marketing coordinator for Harrod UK reported a successful show: “During SALTEX we obtained a number of strong business leads and maintained many relationships with customers, we were delighted with the amount of repeat and new visitors! We will definitely be returning to SALTEX in 2017 as we saw a 20% increase in leads this year.”
Having previously opted to exhibit bi-annually at SALTEX, Reesink Turfcare has broken this trend by already committing to SALTEX 2017, with Holly Jones, marketing manager, commenting: “We were impressed with SALTEX 2016! Many of our customers visited our stand along with plenty of new ones.”
Richard Fry, marketing director for Rigby Taylor, remarked on a successful event: “The 2016 SALTEX was the best ever, both in terms of the number of visitors to the Rigby Taylor stand and the quality. For us as a company, the move to the NEC has encouraged visitors to the exhibition from a wider geographical area and has brought in new, additional customers who view the location as a place to do business. Bring on 2017!”
SALTEX’s educational programme – Learning LIVE – was bigger and better than ever before as visitors took the opportunity to listen to and discuss topical issues, learn from the industry’s leading experts and engage with high profile radio and TV personalities from Sky Sports, talkSPORT and the BBC such as Mark Saggers, Darren Gough, Barrie McDermott and Mark Clemmit.
Lee Metcalfe, head groundsman at the Manchester City Football Academy, was particularly upbeat with the Learning LIVE seminars: “We all found that the seminars were very good and took something out of each one we attended. Education is the way forward and when free education is put on to help people better themselves, then I believe you would be silly not to attend and learn. We all really enjoyed the event and are looking forward to next year already.”
New SALTEX continues to go from strength to strength and after the second year at the NEC the SALTEX team are delighted with both visitor and exhibitor reaction – firmly establishing this new look exhibition and the associated IOG industry awards as the key profile raising events in the calendar.
IOG CEO Geoff Webb was delighted with the success of SALTEX 2016 and signalled the institute’s ambitions to continue to grow the show: “We are really pleased with the reaction to SALTEX 2016 – both days of the show were busy, and with the IOG Awards as well, we feel we have consolidated the exhibition at its new home at the NEC. With Learning Live, the SALTEX College Cup, Soil & Pathology Live all adding to the mix, we are already working on new features for 2017.
“Overwhelmingly our feedback from both visitor and exhibitor was one of satisfaction and confidence in SALTEX. Set against a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty we are determined that SALTEX listens, learn from each year and evolves. We always look at what worked well and where there is room for improvement and that work has already started in preparation for SALTEX 2017.”
SALTEX 2017 will be held at the NEC, Birmingham on 1 and 2 November 2017.