BTME success fuels growth plan

Exhibition draws 4,692 visitors while 2,900 delegates attend series of seminars and workshops.

BTME: fifath hall planned in 2016 - image: HW
BTME: fifath hall planned in 2016 - image: HW

After a successful event that saw four sold-out halls as well as record figures for education and networking, the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has announced that it plans to return to five halls for next year's Turf Management Exhibition (BTME).

The show, held in Harrogate (20-22 January), attracted a total of 4,692 visitors, while a record-breaking 2,900 delegates travelled from across the UK and further afield to attend a range of seminars and workshops.

"It's been another fantastic week and it's featured record numbers attending our 'Continue to Learn' education programme, which is at the heart of what we are trying do," said BIGGA chief executive officer Jim Croxton.

"This year we've featured 215 excellent hours of education. The programme is going from strength to strength and this drives quality visitors to the exhibition. As exhibitor demand continues to rise, BTME 2016 will feature a fifth exhibition hall."

Exhibitors at the show reported the quality of visitors to be higher than ever. "It has been our best show ever for business, with a good number of enquiries," said Highspeed Group director David Mears. "We had a greenkeeper walk up and buy one of our tanks on the spot on the first day of the show."

During the week, master greenkeeper Les Howkins, course manager at the Richmond Golf Club, took over as BIGGA chairman.

Annual exhibits - Company changes policy

Ransomes Jacobsen has decided to exhibit annually at BTME, rather than biennially as it has for much of the past decade.

International marketing and communications manager Karen Proctor said: "Our policy going forward will be to alternate between small and large stands, so we had a limited presence at Harrogate this year but will return in 2016 on a larger scale.

"We are significant partners with BIGGA and this shift of policy clearly demonstrates our continuing support."

On its stand at BTME, Ransomes Jacobsen displayed its MP493 wide-area mower, one of the first two machines in a series of new models, manufactured at the company's European headquarters in Ipswich.

The MP range, powered by 49hp and 65hp Kubota diesel engines, will eventually provide multiple mowing options from a single design platform.

The Jacobsen MP493 bat wing mower features three rotary decks and a 150mm break-back system on the wing decks.


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