Saltex is postponed by another eight months

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 22, 2020 16:51

The grounds management exhibition Saltex has been postponed until November 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision means, in effect, the 2020 show, which was originally scheduled for this autumn, but was then moved back by four months to spring 2021, has been cancelled.

It comes after the turf management exhibition BTME, which was due to take place in January 2021, was also called off.

The show will now take place on November 3-4 2021, as opposed to March 3-4, 2021.

Organiser the Grounds Management Association (GMA) said in a statement that it has been strategically planning for every eventuality to ensure the exhibition is a bio-secure event, in partnership with the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and internationally recognised professional events bodies, however ongoing government restrictions and local and national lockdowns, as well as rising cases of coronavirus have highlighted the immediate challenges to stage a successful event in March.

This decision has factored in recent analysis from both exhibitor and visitor surveys, as well as discussions with relevant parties, it added.

When visitors were asked on date preferences to attend a trade event, November was the first option – followed by October and September. Exhibitors also echoed this, with 64 percent stating a preference to attend Saltex in November 2021 due to latest news and restrictions.

In addition, latest visitor research showed that an overwhelming majority (80 percent) stated that attending an indoor trade show was their number one preference.

In more usual circumstances, Saltex brings over 9,000 visitors across two days with circa 400 brands exhibiting, and visitor attendance at the NEC has significantly grown year-on-year. The next show will be its 75th anniversary marking the longstanding contribution to the grounds sector.

Geoff Webb, CEO at the GMA commented: “As hard as this decision was to make, we knew it was important to act quickly and responsibly so we can begin looking to the future and stage a successful event once restrictions ease again. We have recently seen confidence eroding despite early optimism.

“Our recent surveys have given us excellent insight from both exhibitors and visitors, giving us evidence that reflects current circumstances so we can continue planning an event that best reflects the turf care sector’s requirements.

“The majority of our respondents expressed high confidence levels in attending indoor trade shows and we can see that there is still a huge appetite going forward.”

Exhibitors have the option to carry over their March 2021 booking to the November show at a preferential rate and retaining their stand location.

Alternatively, exhibitors due to showcase in March 2021 can apply for a full refund in writing. The GMA’s events team has contacted all exhibitors personally to discuss preferences, as well as payment terms and plans.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 22, 2020 16:51
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