Organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), this year's Learning Live programme is set to be five times bigger than the education offered at previous exhibitions, with 49 seminars now confirmed.
It will provide grounds and open space practitioners across all disciplines, volunteer as well as professional, with free knowledge-gathering sessions.
The sessions will take place in three dedicated seminar theatres on the show floor at Birmingham's NEC. The Young Groundsman's conference will also be running at the event.
The IOG Gaining Ground theatre will be hosted by journalist and talkSPORT radio presenter Mark Saggers. These sessions are based around the content at the IOG's traditional annual conference event.
Those involved in cricket may well put the Pitch Perfect seminar at the top of their agenda which features experts such as ECB pitch advisor Chris Wood, and head groundsmen Mick Hunt, Lords and Gary Barwell from Edgbaston discussing best practices in cricket groundsmanship. Other sessions include the challenges faced by the Manchester City grounds staff when they moved from their Carrington training ground to one of the world's most prestigious sporting complexes – the City Football Academy. Offering a post Rugby World Cup focus, A day in the life of a Rugby World Cup Groundsman with Keith Kent and Ian Ayling from Twickenham is expected to be widely attended.
The Parks Play and People theatre will be useful for park keepers, rangers, contractors, gardeners, horticulturalists, plus groundsmen who have responsibility for the upkeep of play equipment.
Seminar highlights in this theatre include Darren Share, head of parks for Birmingham City Council, who will highlight how he and his team are providing opportunities to increase activity levels in Birmingham's local communities; Mark Harrod, SAPCA/BSI Technical Committee for sports equipment providing an expert view of the critical factors involved in making sports facility equipment safe and fit for purpose, and The Parks Alliance, addressing the serious funding crisis in the sector and focusing on the next steps in its campaign.
The Technically Turf & New Product Pitches theatre will provide visitors with invaluable technical advice on Irrigation control systems and what makes them tick as well as how to work out a fertiliser plan from soil test results and growth requirements. 'Pitch' sessions will showcase exhibitors' products and services or new product launches in an exciting quick-fire approach which will help visitors better understand key features and how these may fit into their working environment.