According to an independent audit conducted by BPA Worldwide, 8,714 people made 10,112 visits to the trade fair. SALTEX was held indoors at the Birmingham NEC this year for the first time, having previously been held outdoors at Windsor Racecourse. The date was also moved from September to November.
The audit also revealed that a high number of overseas visitors attended the event, representing 45 countries - which organisers attribute to the NEC's nearby international transport links.
According to the IoG, exhibitors noted an increase in quality leads, possibly thanks to the good spread of international and national visitors, combined with the new November date.
"Tildenet had a really successful SALTEX this year and I was really struck by the dramatic increase in footfall at the new venue. We got some great leads and I'm already planning for next year's show," said Richard Jones, commercial manager for Tildenet.
Emyr Jenkins from Jenkins Garden Machinery also saw a significant increase in solid enquiries: "The show was very good for us and surpassed our expectations where we generated over twice the leads we were expecting," she said.
Phil Kime, head groundsman at Lincoln City FC, said the club had always been put off travelling to Windsor for previous SALTEX shows but the NEC is much more central.
"We got a train which was great because we can go straight from our doorstep to SALTEX. The exhibition is fantastic for the industry – it was good to get there and have a look at what was available. We gained some great ideas and we purchased a few new products.
"The atmosphere was excellent and it was a great chance to network - we’ll definitely be returning next year," he said.
Next year's SALTEX will be held at the NEC on 2 and 3 November.