The Groundsman

March 2013

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COMMENT the Groundsman March 2013 3 Training and trade shows Contributors S ince its inception, the ethos behind the IOG SALTEX exhibition has been to plough any profit from the event back into educating, training and supporting grounds people. The concept has never changed, though nowadays the IOG – a not-for-profit organisation – utilises a much wider range of training and education programmes to benefit the development of volunteers and professionals alike. Indeed, the IOG's lead in the development of standards has helped support and develop thousands of grounds people over the years. Karen Maxwell Managing editor " Over the years IOG SALTEX has generated many sales for many exhibitors and is a valuable day out for visitors, many of whom are also key decision makers with budgets. With this in mind, we are determined to improve the event for this year Colin Hoskins Features editor Clive Liddiard Head Groundsman at Hampton School Adrian Masters Headland Amenity Ian Lacy Head of professional services, IOG " In the last few years, IOG SALTEX has witnessed a decline in attendance like all UK trade exhibitions in the current recessed economy. This is due to several factors. Even though the vast majority of visitors want to see them every year, the decision by a handful of big brand name machinery manufacturers to attend on a biennial basis has undoubtedly caused a downturn. Despite the fact that their products are still on the showground, on dealers' stands, for visitors this has created a perceived shrinking of the range of equipment they can see year in, year out. Certainly the effects of public sector cuts have restricted the number of employees a local authority will allow to attend the show. Also, the internet has created a new challenge for all exhibitions, though most shows do harness the power of the web to facilitate increased pre-event engagement between visitors and exhibitors, allowing both to research and better plan their time on the showground. All of these factors contributed to a perfect storm at last year's IOG SALTEX, compounded by the change of layout to accommodate the Olympic events, and nobody was more disappointed than the IOG and the hard working and dedicated staff, contractors and volunteers who have consistently produced a first class event. Over the years IOG SALTEX has generated many sales for many exhibitors and is a valuable day out for visitors, many of whom are also key decision makers with budgets. But the IOG recognises that exhibitors need confidence that they will get a return on investment if they exhibit, and visitors need to know there will be products on display that are of value and of interest. With this in mind, we are determined to improve the event for this year. The Brintex Events team is working very hard to a simple brief: increase numbers of both visitors and exhibitors, and it has immediately made an impact by relocating the API's PlayFair show into this year's show. Brintex has also launched a new show website (www.iogsaltex.com) and, going forward, it will continue to react to market forces to deliver an event that satisfies both the collective and individual objectives of all of its customers and remains the best and biggest annual European event for the management of outdoor sports, leisure and amenity spaces. My message is straightforward: by attending this year's IOG SALTEX (September 3-5, Windsor) you are contributing to the development of the industry as a whole. Whether you want to buy or just browse, see product demonstrations, catch up with the latest innovations, or simply to network with old (and new) friends, you should attend this year's event and help support the tremendous advances the IOG is making for and on behalf of our industry. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, Institute of Groundsmanship Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions

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