Business boost at HTA National Plant show

Exhibitors report good business this year's HTA National Plant Show despite quieter feel at event.

Despite the tough trading environment, many growers exhibiting at the HTA National Plant Show said they had a good show, with one saying it took more orders than at any other event.

Several said they had the impression fewer visitors were coming round, but most were surprised by the amount of business they actually did during the course of the show.

According to the HTA, visitor numbers were on a par with last year's event, while exhibitor numbers were up 25 per cent.

Sales in the British Plant Fair Marketplace were up 12.6 per cent this year, with total sales over the two days of £52,644.

Seiont Nurseries nursery manager Neil Alcock was more optimistic. "It has seemed quiet but we have had quite a few orders and some strong leads for next year," he said.

"We weren't expecting it. There have been some new people coming up as well and you can never have too many new customers."

Quality Ornamentals general manager Paul Brooking said the company also did well despite the impression that there were fewer people.

"We've taken more orders than at any other show," he said. "It is the national plant show without a doubt and it's very important to be there."

Pentland Plants owner David Spray, however, was disappointed. "Everyone is despondent this year and people are saying: 'What's the point?'" he said.

Inside view

Tim Briercliffe, business development manager, HTA

"The show has been good and with such a difficult year the industry needed this. It's good to have everyone here being positive. It has been a bit quieter and we are on about equal numbers to last year's event."


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