More than 100 exhibitors confirmed for this year's NEC Saltex

Organisers of this year's IOG Saltex have said bookings for the show have been "flooding in".

Gary Mumby of BLEC Global at IOG Saltex 2013
Gary Mumby of BLEC Global at IOG Saltex 2013

A total of 105 companies have now confirmed, according to show manager Jon Gibson, including some who have not exhibited in several year, while a further 36 are in negotiations.

He has just opened up the third hall at the venue, the Birmingham NEC, after the first two were booked out.

The most recent exhibitors include Inturf, Barenbrug, Boughton Loam and Turf, STIHL GB, Etesia UK, Wiedenmann UK, BLEC Global, Grillo Agrigarden, Amazone, Trimax, Briggs and Stratton, Polaris Commercial, Bowcom, Melcourt Industries, Vale Engineering, Tyre-Line, Muck Truck UK, Duralock, Harrod UK, S & C Slatter, Pitchmark, AE Evans, Myerscough College, Wicksteed Playgrounds and Playmaintain.

Gibson was unwilling to reveal how many companies had booked at this time last year, saying the two events were too different to compare. 219 companies exhibited at Saltex 2014.

"It's brilliant in two months," he said. "There's more than 4,000 square metres confirmed, more than BTME has ever been so this is definitely the biggest UK show for the turf, grounds and landscape market. It's pleasing that we've got some of the biggest names.

Interest in how this year’s show will fare for bookings has been acute as it will be the first to be held in the new venue and at a new time of year in November.

Some exhibitors were unhappy when they heard about the move to an inside venue at last year’s Saltex event in Windsor, although others were very positive about the convenience and location of the NEC site.

Gibson said exhibitors, such as BLEC, whose Saltex was previously based around live product demonstrations "are buying into this as an indoor show". A total of 12 play equipment suppliers were also booked, he said.

Playmaintain managing director Gavin Crane said: "I am really excited to be bringing Playmaintain to Saltex 2015, not only do we see this as an ideal opportunity to build our brand by showcasing the services which we offer but also to meet and build relationships with prospective clients."

Head of marketing at STIHL GB Simon Hewitt said the company intended to show its range of low noise cordless tool range and said the shift to Birmingham is "a bold move".

This year will be the 30th show for Inturf. Director Alex Edwards said: "We think it’s a better location to attract a wider audience and should be less susceptible to the vagaries of the British weather," he said.

As in previous years Saltex will feature educational seminars, ‘Ask the Expert’ turf clinics but for the first time will be combined with the Institute of Groundsmanship’s annual conference and awards ceremony.

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