The BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) doesn't kick off until tomorrow (Tuesday 24 January), but the 2023 edition of the influential event has already broken multiple attendance records.
The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) organises and hosts the annual trade show and education conference at the Harrogate Convention Centre in North Yorkshire. BTME 2023 takes place this week (24 to 26 January) and is the first time the event has returned to its regular January timing since prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
With 24 hours to go until the doors of the convention centre open, BIGGA has reported that 4,930 attendees have pre-registered for BTME, marking a significant increase on previous years. The previous record was set in 2019, when 3,344 visitors pre-registered to attend.
This number includes 900 registrations from exhibitors themselves, who play a vital role in the success of the event.
The number of pre-registrations also does not tell the full story, with visitors able to sign up for the show upon arrival at the Harrogate Convention Centre. In previous years pre-registration has accounted for around 50% of the total attendees and so BIGGA is confident that this year's event will be among its most successful ever.
Alongside BTME, BIGGA also hosts Continue to Learn and this too has seen incredible numbers. With 1,055 tickets sold, this year's programme will provide more education hours than ever before across the various education formats, which includes a two-day conference and full and half-day classes. Free-to-attend seminars are also taking place during Tuesday and Wednesday and no pre-registration is required for these.
Continue to Learn brings together speakers from a wide range of disciplines to provide practical learning, management advice and other topics that this year include mindfulness, leadership, personal health and wellbeing.
BIGGA Chief Executive Jim Croxton said: "The BTME pre-registration and Continue to Learn booking numbers are cause for celebration for everyone across the BIGGA community. BTME plays a significant role in setting the agenda for the coming year for the association and our members and we're delighted that so many people continue to support us in this way.
"It's clear that for our members and supporters, BTME is the event they enjoy, in the timing and the location that they want, and we're delighted to be able to offer that to them once again. Where else can you meet the hosts of this year's Ryder Cup and various other major championships alongside people discussing a sustainable future for the game or providing solutions and opportunities for every golf club in the country?
"BTME is a wonderful event and I'm incredibly excited to discover what this week holds. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the event as we couldn't do it without you."
For more information about BTME 2023, visit www.btme.org.uk
Throughout BTME, people are encouraged to discuss the show on social media using the hashtag #BTME2023.