Saltex veteran wins award

Derek Walder, operations manager of SALTEX (Sports, Amenities, Landscaping Trade Exhibition), has been presented with the Unsung Hero Award by the Association of Events Organisers (AEO) at its annual Excellence Awards.

Derek Walder, centre - receives his AEO Unsung Hero Award from TV personality Jimmy Carr and Samantha Edwards from category sponsor Event Magazine
Derek Walder, centre - receives his AEO Unsung Hero Award from TV personality Jimmy Carr and Samantha Edwards from category sponsor Event Magazine


The AEO awards showcase the UK events industry's achievements over the past year, celebrating standards of excellence as well as acknowledging the actions of show organisers.

Walder, 75, has fulfilled the role of SALTEX operations manager for almost 40 years, working on a voluntary basis and taking responsibility for all operational matters at the annual event. While onsite, each year Mr Saltex co-ordinates more than 20 different contractors and manages a team of 12 staff and volunteers.
Last year saw 261 exhibitors attract 8,585 visitors to Windsor Racecourse. Walder sleeps in temporary accommodation for 20 days onsite to ensure he is the first to arrive and the last to leave, from well before exhibitor build-up until the final day of break-down.
He said: "Being recognised by my peers in front of an audience of 2,000 UK event specialists was a very surprising but welcome 'pat on the back'.

"It's been an absolute pleasure to work on SALTEX over the years. The show has continued to evolve to reflect the changes in the industry it serves, and I'd like to think that my role as operations manager has likewise reflected the developing needs of exhibitors."

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