BTME week has finally arrived and I, along with hundreds of other industry personal, will be travelling to Harrogate to support this year’s show.
I particularly enjoy this event for several reasons. First and foremost, I find BTME a great way to catch up with the latest industry developments and products coming to market. Also invaluable is the opportunity it affords for meeting up with so many friends and colleagues, securing new leads and contacts as well as gathering information to allow us to promote our diverse, wonderful industry in forthcoming editions of TurfPro.
For me Harrogate is without doubt one of the best venues for conferences. There is so much going on throughout the three days including education seminars, over 300 exhibitors to see and once the day is over, we then enter into the twilight zone where industry companies put on hospitality events for their customers. This, along with the fact that there so many restaurants and bars in town, allows further networking opportunities late into the night.
I personally think both this show and SALTEX are must attends for anyone working in the sports turf and amenity industry. They give you the chance to meet so many fellow turf professionals and see at first hand the very diverse nature of our industry. At the same time they allow you to take stock of your own career path and maybe look for potential new career opportunities.
Our Industry is one of the most revered in the world. We have for many years seen the development of some outstanding greenkeepers and groundsmen who have worked their way up the career ladder to take charge of some of the best facilities in the world. Neil Stubley, Wimbledon, Roy Rigby, Lee Jackson at Man City, Karl McDermott, Lords, Gary Barwell, Warwickshire CCC, John Ledwidge Leicester City FC, Paul Burgess Real Madrid, Jonathan Calderwood, Paris St Germain to name a few.
Without doubt their success has been built upon a drive and ambition to produce the best playing surface they can using the best products, resources and machinery available. In most cases it’s quite often their collaboration with manufacturers that leads to these new innovative products and services being brought to market.
My advice while attending these shows is to make best use of your time and seek out any relevant opportunities to improve your own career prospects. Take time to visit and speak to any educationists, colleges and training organisations such as Lantra, BASIS reg, IOG, to see what’s on offer. Take note of what new products and machinery is also on offer. And finally take the time to make new acquaintances and contacts to help you become a better groundsman or greenkeeper.
You are never too old to learn, I myself will be looking at attending a Lantra Integrated Pest Management Course at Harper Adams University this year.
There is still time to book on many of the education seminars taking place at this week’s BTME.
Also, do not be afraid to ask any of the large machinery manufacturers and other exhibitors at the show, about potential career opportunities. Be proactive and glean as much information and advice you can.
As for me I cannot wait to get amongst the exhibitors and catch up on the latest products and services on offer. In recent years we have seen a lot of innovation in software management packages plus the potential use of drones to map and monitor your facilities.
Many of the large mower manufacturers are now investing in cordless technologies, with many bringing to market a number of battery powered products. Both Dennis and Allett now have battery powered mower products in use at a number of high-profile stadiums. The likes of STIHL, Husqvarna. EGO, Pellenc also now offer a very diverse range of battery powered products for our use.
It seems the weather is taking a turn for the worst and becoming much colder with forecasts of some wintery snow showers this week. For those travelling to the show, I hope you have a safe journey and I look forward to perhaps meeting you at BTME.