Spring dates scrapped

The Grounds Management Association announced on October 22nd that they have taken the decision to move SALTEX to 3-4 November 2021, from its planned Spring dates of 3-4 March 2021.

In an official statement announcing the move the Association said, "The GMA 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. Organisers have been closely re-negotiating with the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), returning the exhibition to its original Autumn dateline."

The scrapping of the spring dates follows a recent survey sent out to visitors by the GMA, canvassing opinion on timings of the show. According to the GMA when visitors were asked on date preferences to attend a trade event, November was the most popular option - followed by October and September. Exhibitors also apparently echoed this, with 64% stating a preference to attend SALTEX in November 2021.

The GMA also say that their research showed visitor favour for an indoor show, with 80% saying this was their number one preference.

Geoff Webb, CEO at the GMA said, “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 - we are already looking ahead to what is required for what will be a milestone edition of SALTEX in November 2021.”

It has been announced that exhibitors now 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 say they have contacted all exhibitors personally to discuss preferences.

Geoff continued, “Despite the circumstances, and a future where Covid will always be present, we are really touched by the number of exhibitors that have expressed that they are on this journey with us and wish to be part of SALTEX at the next possible opportunity. We are determined to help contribute to the growth - and celebrate the sector - albeit at a later date in 2021.”

Luke Perry, director of SALTEX and Events for the GMA added, “We have worked hard to reflect changing situations. We intend to maintain this regular, frequent communication going forward whilst continuing to analyse how our sector feels about events in general.”

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