SALTEX 2021 moves into next gear

Lucy Nichollsin Exhibition News

Early indications for the 75th edition of SALTEX are extremely positive, following overwhelming industry support and the welcome news that exhibitions and events have been given the go ahead to restart from the start of October.

SALTEX, which takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on 3 and 4 March 2021, has been serving the grounds management industry since 1938. Since then, the show has developed in stature and reputation and is now recognised as the industry's showcase event creating opportunity for all who attend.

Geoff Webb, CEO of the Grounds Management Association, believes that the historic exhibition will be a huge first step towards the industry's recovery.

"We believe that there comes a point where we lay the foundations for recovery and we of course want SALTEX in March to be a catalyst for this to showcase products, demonstrate the innovation this industry possesses, engage, network, renew acquaintances and generate new business for our exhibitors. In fact, we are making every provision to build assurance for a positive 'return on investment' for our exhibitors."

At SALTEX 2019, the post-show survey revealed that 96 per cent of exhibitors generated new sales leads and 82 per cent took orders then and there on the show floor. The visitor survey further revealed that 79 per cent of SALTEX visitors had purchasing responsibility and 77 per cent had the ability to sign-off on amounts of more than £50,000. Therefore, it is no surprise, that SALTEX 2019 exhibitors are still reporting a high conversion rate from the leads they generated at last year's show.

These figures have resulted in SALTEX 2021 witnessing a record-breaking loyalty period with over 75 per cent of exhibitors returning, including many stand upgrades and an influx of debut exhibitors.

The new Spring dates have not only been welcomed by exhibitors. A large proportion of visitors have voiced their support for the 2021 show with many claiming that they will be in the hunt for new products and services.

Take for example, Liverpool FC's Senior Manager of Grounds Management - David Roberts, who revealed that he is looking forward to attending the show and will be exploring new solutions with his team.

"SALTEX provides an opportunity to see and meet manufacturers and to look at the products in the flesh. I always keep an open mind as to what we may need. As the show gets closer, we will be aware of specific problems we need to resolve and will then look for solutions at SALTEX."

All eyes now turn towards delivering a successful event with the potential protocols that may be in place as a direct result of Covid-19. SALTEX is in the safest and most professional of hands according to Geoff.

"The events sector is holding some pilot exhibitions over the coming weeks to detail the best procedures to ensure exhibitions are the best possible environments for staff, exhibitors, and visitors alike. Learning from these pilots will be addressed. In the meantime, we are currently mapping out several scenarios based on restrictions that may be in place in Spring 2021, so the event runs safely and efficiently, while creating a positive experience for both visitors and exhibitors.

"We have a very experienced team, who with the NEC, I am confident can stage a safe and successful event in the Spring next year."

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