The SALTEX 2018 after show visitor survey has shown that the vast majority of attendees considered SALTEX 2018 to be the best and most exciting show to date.
SALTEX, hosted at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham has yet again proved to be the most popular annual gathering for the UK and European groundscare industry. SALTEX is now the leading show for the industry to have the chance to see the comprehensive overview of the most up to date developments and innovations in groundscare and to find out about the capabilities of this sector.
Following two days brimming with networking, education and innovation, the seventy third SALTEX exhibition closed with an independently audited, visitor attendance of 8,902.
Visitors came from forty four different countries and according to the findings of this year’s visitor survey, these attendees included grounds personnel, greenkeepers, landscapers and contractors.
The event organisers are delighted to hear that ninety per cent of visitors, who took part in the survey, were successful in meeting their show expectations and just as many rated their overall show experience as either very good or excellent and no less than ninety per cent of visitors have already added SALTEX 2019 to their diaries, which takes place at the NEC from 30-31 October 2019.
Survey participants commented that their top priorities for the show were to source new products, services and suppliers (seventy nine per cent) and discover new innovations (seventy seven per cent).
More than forty seven per cent used their visit for professional advancement by attending show features such as the Learning LIVE education programme, Ask the Expert and the Job Clinic.
More than half of the survey respondents held a leading or management position at their respective companies, with 84 per cent either having sole responsibility for purchasing or contributed to the process. In addition, 65 per cent had the ability to sign-off on amounts up to £50,000 and 12 per cent had the ability to sign-off on amounts of more than £500,000.
The survey findings also revealed that SALTEX visitors had very specific interests: almost 80 per cent attended to find out more about machinery, power and hand tools for their daily work and nearly half of the visitors were interested in seed, turf and aggregates. More than 38 per cent of visitors wanted to see exhibitors representing both sport surfaces and facilities and landscaping materials. Other areas of interest included: arboriculture, horticulture and forestry (37 per cent); commercial vehicles, tyres and trailers (33 per cent); synthetic turf (24 per cent) and security, personal protection, health and safety (18 per cent).
Vic Demain, head groundsman at Durham CCC, believes that the show is well attended because it caters for everyone in the industry: “I consider SALTEX to be the best show in the industry and it is ideal for everyone to come to, whether you are a volunteer, a professional or an international groundsman – there is something for everyone,” he said.
For Adam Witchell, head groundsman at Forrest Green Rovers FC, attending SALTEX provides him with a great opportunity to continue his learning. “For me it’s all about education. I love the seminars and here at SALTEX I’m learning lots of things from great people in this industry. It is a fantastic event, there is some absolutely brilliant machinery on display and a good range of exhibitors.”
Alison Saxby, estate team leader at Workington Town Council also thought the opportunity to enhance her knowledge was a top priority for attending SALTEX: “I like the live talks because they keep you abreast of the current regulations and new innovations,” she said.
With the NEC being located in the centre of the UK and boasting fantastic travel links, it is no wonder that 85 per cent rated the accessibility of the venue as excellent. Stuart Kerrison, head groundsman at Essex CCC said: “The NEC is so easy to get to. I attended to look at a couple of new machines because this is where you see all of the latest innovations. Anyone who attends SALTEX gets so much from it – from viewing new products, attending seminars and networking,” he said.
Benjamin Imamovic, assistant groundsman at FK Željezničar Sarajevo, believed that his journey to SALTEX was certainly worthwhile.
“It’s awesome; I came all the way from Bosnia and Herzegovina to see all of the new machines and learn something new and I am amazed.”
SALTEX 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on October 30 and 31.
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