How would you like to see turf shows develop?

HW polled exhibitors at last week's greenkeeping sector BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) in Harrogate.

"Exhibiting at two shows is a big commitment of resources and people at a time of hardship. For us, once a year would be enough.

"I'm not convinced that you need one show for the north and one for the south. Most people are within a couple of hours' travel of central England. You can go too far down the road of local shows - Scotsturf is quite poor in terms of attendance.

"I don't think the BTME should be a three-day show either - that's one day too many."

Stephen Fell, managing director, Lindum

"There's no right or wrong answer. We would love to do the whole lot at just one event. It's a cost, though we can fit all we need in a car. For the machinery guys, it's a job for a lorry.

"Also, I'm scared that Europe will start putting on a big show and we in the UK will be left behind.

"On the other hand, I'm not sure where a move away from BTME would leave BIGGA. There will always be a need for shows, but part of the problem is the internet - it's how people expect to get information now."

Mike King, sales and marketing manager, Vitax

"Saltex and BTME are very different markets - BTME is very specific to golf and it has a strong emphasis on education.

"We have been showing at BTME for 20 years, ever since the company began distribution in the UK. It would be hard to meet the needs of all visitors (at one show). Shows are also becoming regional and each draws from different areas.

"We sell through dealers and it's an opportunity for them to bring customers here, although they won't sell without an on-site demonstration - for example, at a golf course. This is when you fill your bag with enquiries."

David Rae, director, Wiedenmann UK

"The question has been around for a while but I think it's a bit of a red herring - both organisations need to look at more effective ways of working.

"For us, as exhibitors, it's a very inefficient way to generate new leads. Nobody buys at a trade show, they will want a demonstration first. But it's also an inefficient way for the organisers to make a profit.

"Shows could be cut down so they happen every other year and the education aspect could be done more cost-effectively elsewhere.

"The younger managers don't come to see us at shows. They do their research online and find us that way."

Martin Ward, managing director, Symbio

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