SALTEX, one of the biggest events in the grounds care industry’s calendar, is the latest show to fall victim to the coronavirus outbreak. Originally scheduled for November this year, the exhibition has been postponed until spring next year and will now be held on 3rd and 4th March at the NEC, Birmingham.
In a statement, the organisers, the Grounds Management Association (GMA), said the decision had been reached “in light of continued restrictions surrounding mass gatherings, combined with the unprecedented impact on all of us from Covid-19.” Furthermore, the association explained that by acting now, it would allow everyone to plan as effectively as possible and help the industry to regroup and recover. They went on to say that this outcome has been guided by discussions with key industry bodies, as well as exhibitors.
However, there could well be a very bright silver lining to this particular cloud. The postponement has been universally welcomed by the industry and many exhibitors believe that the show will be even stronger as a result. It is anticipated that more people will be able to attend the event. Crucially, early March keeps the event in the pre-season window. As a number of exhibitors have pointed out, this means that product demos can be arranged with prospective customers to take place immediately after the show, rather than having to wait until the new year due to the unpredictable weather with the attendant risk of ‘hot leads’ cooling off over the winter.
Exhibitor lists are yet to be finalised, but amongst the big-name compact tractor manufacturers who have already committed to the show are John Deere, Kubota, Iseki, Tym and Kioti.