The following article, written by GMA CEO, Geoff Webb, comes from the SALTEX 2021 Event Guide.
With open arms, we welcome the entire community at SALTEX after a year’s break. For some, this will be the first opportunity to reunite with colleagues, friends, and those further afield since the start of the pandemic. For others, this event and its networking opportunities will already be part of everyday life.
In its fifth year at the NEC, SALTEX brings hope for the future and showcases what our industry is capable of overcoming. The first exhibition was held at the Hurlingham Club in 1938, with subsequent exhibitions at Motspur Park, Royal Windsor Racecourse, Peterborough, and now in Birmingham at the NEC. We’re really pleased to see the continued growth and unique offerings available each year.
This year marks our 75th anniversary exhibition and we wanted to give our visitors the opportunity to relive some fond memories with a special ‘history of Groundscare equipment’ feature on Stand C065. What’s more, we’ve outlined the history of SALTEX and Grounds Management Association activity on the GMA Hub (C180). You can read a full list of show features on page 7.
As well as being committed to delivering world-class Learning LIVE seminars across three theatres, as the event organisers, the GMA is continuously looking at ways to strengthen our support and guidance for members. With more people knowledge sharing online, there is an increased importance to ensure that technical information shared is credible and correct. The 25-strong GMA team have supported more people than ever throughout the pandemic and continued to work with the national governing bodies of sport to deliver fast and reliable information online. We’re overwhelmed by the number of people who accessed our free volunteer guidance on the Grounds Management Toolkit (resources.thegma.org.uk) since it launched in December 2020, as well as our new online training courses.
We are an industry with incredible talent who have the skill to tackle adversity – it’s often where nature takes us. The GMA aims to get even more people into the professional industry in future years so groundscare continues to flourish and grow. We hope that Learning LIVE gives you the chance to hear from experts and inspire new ideas too.
We also have outstanding volunteers giving up free time to help others shape their careers or maintain pitches. You will see some of our Young Board of Directors educating young people from colleges or schools at the event this year. We also have dedicated GMA members who represent our regional branches or Board of Directors, as well as volunteers who have tirelessly committed hours for their local community to keep people fit, active and outdoors. Thank you to everyone who has committed their time to the GMA, grounds management, and to those around them.
Our members, exhibitors and partners are vital to the industry through the GMA’s initiatives. All of our association’s revenue is reinvested back into our work, and you can find out about the GMA’s achievements in your copy of Grounds Management magazine on page 7. Now is the time to unite and work together for common goals to gain the greatest impact.
We thank you wholeheartedly for your commitments and we look forward to returning to the NEC on the 2-3 November 2022. We recognise there is still work to be done, but we continue to strive for an industry that is bigger, bolder, and stronger than ever before.