Saltex visitor numbers 2005 to 2017

I'm still awaiting the official audited visitor numbers for Saltex 2015. 

However, Fusion Media has published a blog post which claims 'over 8,000' people visited this year's event at the NEC Birmingham.

I've kept audited figures since 2005. 

Whilst Saltex definitely remains in a downward trend (peaking at 15,139 visitors in 2005) there is a bounce on last year's (2014) figure of 7,485, Saltex is still down c600 visitors on 2013.

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  • PRO

    I wonder if the internet has much to do with lower visitor numbers. I imagine if you look at internet use in the industry over the time scale you would get a line going the opposite way.

    I would hazard a guess that events like saltex used to be the best place to get the latest industry knowledge etc, but now a lot of that info is quickly available online.

    I would still like to go though, just to look at the shiny new toys :)

  • PRO Supplier

    I was thinking along the same lines Graham, I can imagine that the Internet has had a huge effect on numbers visiting Saltex. When I visited Saltex this year I was actually thinking do I need to be here, I can see this all this machinery on the Internet, but at the same time it is nice to go out and see new shiny toys!

    Incidentally, I was just wondering why there was such a sharp drop in numbers in 2012, was it due to bad weather?

    I can't believe how quiet Saltex seem to be in 2014, maybe that was just a particular day that I attended?!

  • PRO Supplier

    The internet is excellent for finding out basic information, but there's nothing like seeing equipment in the flesh in order to assess its quality. Also, by chatting to suppliers' staff you often find out bits of information you wouldn't find on the net e.g. improvements that are in the pipeline, or even weak spots that are in the process of being fixed.

    Regarding the low attendance at Saltex 2012, I think it was one of the "small" years (you probably know that some of the bigger suppliers only went to Windsor every other year). Judging by the photos we took, the weather was OK. You don't get blue sky like that inside NEC!!

    • PRO

      I think the "gap" is closing between Shows & Online shopping/catalogs.

      Somewhere in between this scenario is the interaction with a good Dealer. These Dealers are taking over the place once occupied by major Suppliers at shows etc I suspect due to the cost(s) of particpating.

      This was experienced at a recent show where, for example, one major (key) supplier had less on show than my local Dealership in the same County.

      Many large Suppliers had stands with little space, static machines, with visitors being directed to Catalogs and with a feeling "being there" because they had to be.....

      Maybe it gives the smaller Supplier and / or good Delalers an opportunity ?

    • PRO

      "Also, by chatting to suppliers' staff you often find out bits of information you wouldn't find on the net e.g. improvements that are in the pipeline, or even weak spots that are in the process of being fixed."

      The clever internet marketers are making this kind of information freely available online Paul. Companies that don't have a strong and ongoing internet presence (and that includes YouTube videos) will surely fall behind.

      What is more, it's the end user that's uploading product reviews - the negative stuff as well as the positive bits - that will encourage others to buy - or not.

      • PRO Supplier

        Does your comment indicate that you don't think there is a lot of point in going to exhibitions? I don't like putting money in organizers' (or hotels') pockets, but I do think potential purchasers like to see the physical product, and the occasional exhibition is a good way of seeing a far wider range of options than you would see at your local dealer. 

        • PRO

          There's no doubt in my mind that exhibitions will never be the same as pre-internet.

          The numbers do speak for themselves. The downward trend on the graph tells no lies, it's clear to see that less people are visiting Saltex. I have not kept a strict exhibitor total for the same period but it's also clear to see that in less than 6 years, the number of companies exhibiting as more than halved.

          Even the IOG concede that numbers have dwindled. Only last yearIOG Chairman David Teasdale, said: "the IOG saw the decision [move to the NEC] as necessary after both visitor and exhibitor numbers had dwindled" and added "It's been a miracle in many ways that we have kept this show alive".

  • Dont believe the figures for this year. Numbers are way way less than what you have been told.

    Due to the extortionate price of food and drink within the nec, many visitors and exibitors left to get some outside and returned again. They were scanned coming back into the venue, and these numbers were added in as part of the total!

    Some exhibitors are saying its the kast show for them, so the move to the nec has not gone well...! 

    • PRO Supplier
      Hi Daniel,

      Firstly, the figures have not actually been announced yet. The organisers are awaiting the figures to be INDEPENDENTLY audited. People are scanned back into the exhibition if they return. This is for H&S reasons. These numbers are then NOT included in the total number of visitors as organisers give a unique visitor number - i.e all reentries have been removed.

      It would be interesting to hear from some of the exhibitiors you say won't be returning as many have already rebooked and in some cases booked a bigger stand. Even though it's only 3 weeks from the show finishing plans are already in full swing to make 2016 even bigger and better and early indications are that there will be even more exhibitors than 2015, which in fact showed around 60 more exhibitors compared to 2014 and the last at Windsor.

      Organisers welcome all feedback to how they can make the show better, so please let us know and we can try to resolve some of the perceived issues.

      Don't forget that the show isn't just a landscape show - it's a show for the whole of the industry hence why you'll see more names exhibiting compared to any other industry show of its type.

      2015 held over 50 educational seminars offering CPD points - the largest offering of its type.

      2015 attracted people from nearly 50 countries and from a bigger cross section of the U.K than ever before, but rest assured we will not rest on our laurels - we welcome all feedback to make the show even better and one that the whole industry can be proud of.
      • PRO Supplier

        Well, it's good to hear that re-entries are not added to the total. I shan't bother to abseil back in at future shows.

        From an exhibitors point of view Groundscare Products it seemed quite good, although the proof of the pudding doesn't become apparent until you have followed up all the leads. However, we did hear several visitors comment on the length of time it took to get in, the lack of buses to and from the car parks, the long queues for food and the shortage of somewhere to sit and eat. I realize there were probably another 3 or 4 shows running at the same time, but NEC need to get to grips with the apparent under capacity with catering and transport.

        We have re-booked for 2016 and will be taking a slightly larger stand. It will be the 10th year in a row for us, but whether we are there in 2017 will very much depend on the results we eventually get from 2015.

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