Start of a "strong new chapter" as visitors to Festival of Turf toast the re-emergence of the sports turf industry following the COVID-19 pandemic
The turfcare industry reunited for the first time in over 18 months at the Warwickshire Event Centre as the inaugural Festival of Turf took place beneath clear blue skies.
With live music playing on a grand stage and ample opportunities for networking, the exhibition brought a celebratory festival feel, aided by clear sunshine and warm weather.
COVID protocols helped to ensure the health and safety of those in attendance and the festival provided a platform for more than 40 exhibitors from across the turfcare industry to showcase their latest innovations and products.
Among the highlights of the event was John Ledwidge, head of sports turf and grounds at Leicester City FC taking to the grand stage for a Q&A session hosted by Martin Smart of Turf Business, who were official media partners for the event.
John Ledwidge of Leicester City FC took part in an on-stage Q&A / The Festival was an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and industry supporters
Also taking place was the presentation of the BIGGA Excellence in Communication Award sponsored by Campey Turf Care Systems, which saw James Bledge, course manager at Royal Cinque Ports, awarded the top prize for a thought-provoking feature he produced on the use of bunker rakes.
Across the two-day event delegates from across various sports and amenity disciplines came through the doors of the Warwickshire Event Centre, bringing a buzz and energy back to the industry that had sadly been missing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: "We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all the exhibitors who signed up to support BIGGA and its members at what we hope is the beginning of a strong new chapter for the golf and wider sports turf industry."
"There was a tremendous atmosphere as visitors and suppliers came together face-to-face for the first time in 18 months and the overriding feeling was one of optimism. While visitor numbers were not as high as hoped for, those who did attend engaged meaningfully with the exhibitors and reconnected with friends and peers. It was scorching hot, which potentially kept some people away, but the combination of exhibition, live music, refreshments and fantastic weather brought a brilliant sense of occasion to the event. Our thanks go to everyone who came along and rekindled old friendships, struck new deals and enjoyed being together after so long apart."
A stage and live music brought a festival feel to the event / 'Miss Greenkeeper' Anna Nielsson took over BIGGA's social media channels for the event
"Our attention now turns to BTME, taking place this coming January, when the exhibition will return to the Harrogate Convention Centre for the first time since 2020. We have a massive education programme planned and we are incredibly excited about the return of our flagship event. We hope to see you there."
BTME will take place at the Harrogate Convention Centre on Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 January 2022. Visitor registration is due to open this autumn. There will also be the return of in-person learning as BIGGA's world leading Continue to Learn education programme returns to the venue on Sunday 23 to Wednesday 26 January 2022.
You can watch and embed a video from Festival of Turf here: https://vimeo.com/577988216