Saltex 2021 Round Up

By Bryn Lee

A week after FSB, and the Saltex exhibition showed how much more relevant and exciting an industry show can be – a packed hall, tighter gangways and a real buzz around the place. Credit to the organisers for making it work so well, and attracting so many visitors.

Cards on the table; the show was not one for the synthetic turf market. We, as in manufacturers, tried this show before, and it simply does not deliver end customers. It is, first and foremost, aimed at groundsmen and, although much smaller than the old Saltex of Windsor Racecourse days, still attracts this audience.

The “conference” programme adds a little more relevance, albeit does seem squeezed in.

Why Saltex worked, for me, was the number of people from UK companies in the synthetic turf world, that visited. This meant that the cafés were full of small meetings, and networking was a real winner.

In terms of stands, the increase in reinforced natural turf options was evident. Whether stitched in on site, or grown into a supporting carpet, this has now become a very crowded market.

As always, with any event at the NEC, grumbles aren’t far away. As a visitor, to pay a £16.00 charge to park your car for a few hours, leaves a sour note, especially as the car parks are not close.

I had thought exhibitions were on the wane, pre-Covid, and feared they would not return afterwards. Saltex has proven this thought, wrong.

Two questions:

  1. Would we benefit from our own, independent, synthetic turf industry show?
  2. Would Saltex benefit from the support and presence of the Football Foundation, like the FSB show did from FIFA’s presence?

Well done to Geoff Webb and his Saltex team.