Many factors are combining to make open-space management difficult. The cost of fuel and labour, the skills shortage, health and safety issues and more regulations. Insurance premiums are up, so too are taxes, and there remains concern over interest rates. The weather has been awful and - depending on which side of the fence you sit - clients fussy and contractors awkward. Also, the use of pesticides is threatened - again.
In the busy workplace, it is sometimes hard to pinpoint solutions. At IoG Saltex, there will be no shortage of bright ideas to help solve many of the problems. The show has established itself as an annual institution that embraces fine turf and sports surfaces, turf maintenance, landscaping, tree care, play equipment and commercial vehicles along with leisure and facilities provision and management.
There will be more than 400 companies exhibiting and many are embracing innovation and bringing new solutions to the market. Many of these companies will be putting machinery and equipment through their paces in the demonstration areas, giving visitors the opportunity to assess their features. There is also the new AEA Live Machinery Demo Area where Amazone, Bomford, Charterhouse, Countax, Barrus, FGM, Martin Lishman, New Holland, McCormick and RECO, to name but a few, will be present. Prospective buyers can again see kit in action and find out more from those demonstrating it.
There are plenty of other attractions too. Educational seminars, debates, the Dealer Village, a "back to basics" learning opportunity plus the World of Arb - with best-practice tree climbing demonstrations. And IoG Saltex is again hosting the finals of the World Skills UK Landscape Gardening Competition, with four teams competing to build a garden during the show.
For those who find it tricky to spend a day at the show, then Wednesday's late-night opening could be the answer. No matter what time of the day, the show guarantees to help everyone involved in grounds care get on with the job.
Dates: 2-4 September
Times: Tuesday 9am-5pm; Wednesday 9am-7pm; Thursday 9am-4.15pm
Where: Windsor Racecourse, Windsor Great Park, Berkshire
How to get there
By car: From London, exit M4 at junction 6 and follow the signs. Towards London, exit M4 at junction 8 or 9.
By train: Windsor Central or Windsor Riverside station. Free water-taxi runs every 30 minutes from town centre riverside to IoG Saltex.
Entrance to the show is free. Visitors can register when they arrive. To avoid the queues, register before the show online at www.iogsaltex.co.uk or by calling the registration hotline on 0844 557 2724.