Independent body rejects merging exhibitions

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 12, 2011 15:14

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), an independent body tasked with analysing the Institute of Groundsmanship’s IOG SALTEX show, which took place earlier this month, and Harrogate Week, run by the British and International Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), which takes place in January, has concluded that the two exhibitions do not need to be merged and doing so would only increase costs for suppliers.

Questions have surrounded the two shows, which both run annually and offer education and training – as well as a showcase of products – for greenkeepers, since major manufacturers, such as John Deere, Ransomes Jacobsen and Toro, announced in 2005 that they would only exhibit once every other year at both. This had led to industry calls for SALTEX and Harrogate Week to be merged into one annual show.

As a result, the IOG and BIGGA set up the Grounds and Turf Care Industry Forum (GTCIF), which is chaired by the HTA and features the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA), which was tasked with conducting an extensive review of trade events for the sector.

GTCIF considered the location, frequency and composition of the trade events available to manufacturers and retailers of grounds’ and turf care products, and the review has concluded that the two shows are sufficiently distinct to remain separate, and merging them would lead to higher costs.

David Gwyther of the HTA, said: “HTA’s independent and objective analysis of the industry’s two main shows has made it clear that there is, in fact, little real overlap in target markets and each has a distinct sectoral focus. Merging them in somewhere like central England would only increase costs. There is no market appetite for further, new shows.

“We analysed the demographics both of exhibitors and visitors who have attended these events in the past few years. This indicated that there are significant differences between the events and that they are not directly comparable.

“Clearly there exists an overlap both in exhibitors and visitors but in all cases this is a small minority.

“It was also concluded that market forces will continue to dictate the demand and make up of these types of events.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 12, 2011 15:14
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