Organisers of the inaugural GreenTech horticultural technology exhibition have given it an upbeat appraisal despite its falling short of hoped-for visitor numbers.
Having set itself an informal target of 10,000 attendees, the final tally came in at 8,153, 41 per cent of whom came from outside the Netherlands.
Exhibition manager Mariska Dreschler said: "The atmosphere has been great, with attendance level and quality reinforcing the fact that the concept of GreenTech stands firm."
Intended to take place every other year, the show was timed to coincide with the newly-combined vegetable and flower trials at breeders' nearby trial sites.
Managing director of RAI Exhibitions Ids Boersma said: "Launching an international trade show happens very rarely. GreenTech has been put on the map with this edition and we have established a solid base to expand in 2016 with trade-only quality visitors offering global opportunities."
Over 50 out of the nearly 300 exhibitors had already pre-booked stand space for 2016 before GreenTech 2014 closed, organisers said.
The show has partly filled the niche vacated by the larger Horti Fair, which ran at the same venue in 2012.
The Commercial Horticultural Association organised a UK pavilion in which six suppliers exhibited. Its manager Stuart Booker said: "The GreenTech organisers have worked a lot more with international trade organisations including ourselves.
"They are targeting the right visitor base. The timing of the show will never suit everyone."
HDC chairman Neil Bragg said: "It was certainly easy to get access to the stands, and the people on them seemed to be the ones with the technical knowledge.
"The breakout sessions were also very informative. Overall it was very much more technical than Horti Fair was, which is potentially useful. I think there's a place for a technical rather than commercial exhibition.
Innovation - Super Absorbent Fibre
Grimsby-based Technical Absorbents used GreenTech to explore horticultural uses for its Super Absorbent Fibre, which received a nomination for the sshow's Innovation Award.
Company representative Mike Northern said: "We have been producing absorbent fibres for over 20 years but horticulture is a new area for us. Now we are working with growers in the UK on a range of applications including vertical gardens, where it is difficult to retain moisture, and roof gardens."