The second Toro Sports Fields and Grounds Forum took place in Adelaide from 10-12 November 2014. Sports turf managers from around Australia, as well as some from New Zealand and Singapore, attended the three-day event held at the beautiful Adelaide Oval.
All attendees received product training and were able to see and experience Toro machinery and irrigation equipment. The product rotation stations were a key to the success of the forum. Customers were able to try out an entire line up of Toro products consisting of several Reelmaster®, Greensmaster®, ProCore ®, Multi Pro® and Groundsmaster® models.
The new Toro® Groundsmaster® 360 mower with 254cm (100") deck received a lot of interest. The 100" cutting deck equals a "lower cost to operate" solution for large-area mowing with the ability to increase acres per hour mowing capacity by up to 38% over a typical 72" (182.8 cm) deck.
Also in attendance at the forum were industry partners Syngenta and the Sports Turf Association - along with Kevin Conry, senior marketing manager, and Chad Moe, senior principal design engineer, both from The Toro Company in the USA. Kevin and Chad discussed Toro's innovative line of rotary and reel mowers and future technologies, and introduced Toro's exciting new Reelmaster hybrid technology that will be officially launched to the Australian market in early 2015.
Damian Hough, head curator at Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority, took the group on a tour of the Oval and onto the wicket, where he gave a very informative in-depth review of the grounds. This was thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by the participants.
Being able to mix and socialise, and share ideas with people from different sized sports grounds, ovals, schools and turf maintenance companies received a lot of positive feedback from participants.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for us to come together and see first-hand what a professional company Toro is. The ability to network with other Grounds Managers from around the country and to get an opportunity to trial Toro machinery and give feedback is invaluable," said Michael Smith from Scotch College in Melbourne.
Chris Collingwood, the general manager of Adelaide Property & Gardens, commented that the Sports Fields & Grounds forum was a great informative event: "The blend of information, networking and time to enquire was perfect. Often information overload is present at such events...not at this one. It reinforced Bedford Group's decision to choose Toro equipment over others as an excellent decision. We are very excited about the new technologies and the possible opportunities it may open up for our supported employees."
"The Forum is a great concept and I know from talking with all the participants in Adelaide that it is very well received and thought of in the industry, " said Scott Wallis from Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane. "The whole event was managed to perfection - the venue, machinery demos, food and hospitality, even the pausing for remembrance day is no doubt due to meticulous planning and something that Toro should be very proud of."
Scott Wallis was announced as the Sports Turf Graduate Mentor for this year. The mentor's role is to assist the Graduate in their career development and offer advice on industry related topics. Scott will accompany the 2014 STA Sports Turf Graduate of the Year, Luke Cooney from Hale School in Perth, WA, on his trip to the 2015 Sports Fields and Grounds Forum in Minnesota, USA.
Toro Australia would like to sincerely thank Damian Hough and his team for hosting the Sports Fields and Grounds Forum.