What is GroundsFest is the question we ask and others in this informative blog written in partnership with the GroundFest organisers.
GroundsFest is a new event for all those working within the groundscare, amenity, sportsturf, landscape and related sectors. The event will offer free onsite demonstrations, lead industry speakers and so much more. GroundsFest also offers free parking and even free transport to local hotels. In this blog we ask Chris Bassett, who is part of the team that will be running the event, seven questions to find out why people should visit.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your role with GroundsFest?
Myself – well, I’ve been involved within the sportsturf and amenity industry for over 20 years. Firstly, I worked at a magazine called Turf and Amenity Management. I then started a marketing agency – Fusion Media. We have grown to be the largest marketing agency within the sportsturf industry with clients that include Dennis, SISIS, ICL, Agrovista Amenity, Etesia, Pellenc, Hewitt Sportsturf, Mansfield Sand and MM Sports Seed to name a few.
We were also appointed as the PR and marketing agency for SALTEX in 2014 following the announcement that the show would be moving from Windsor to the NEC. We worked on this contract up until April 2022. With regards to GroundsFest, I am the event director.
When is GroundsFest and what does the festival involve?
GroundsFest is 20 and 21 September 2023 at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. With regards to the festival, where many other industry events tend to wind down after lunchtime, GroundsFest will aim to keep visitors at the event for a longer period due to the live music which will be on stage. The festival will be kicked off with an exciting Q&A session with leading industry names, before the live music begins.
This will allow visitors and exhibitors to unwind after the event, listen to some great bands and DJ’s and tuck into the many wonderful street food stalls on site. We are also looking at putting on travel for anyone wishing to stay later which will have drop off points at the local accommodation.
Do you think the industry has enough room for another trade show, although it’s easy to see you offer more than this as an event?
Exhibitors will always choose to be at the events which work best for them. We absolutely understand that there is a significant cost associated with exhibiting at an event and we have reflected this in our very competitive pricing structure.
This opens the doors for a much wider range of companies. From a visitor point of view, in our experience, visitors like to attend more than just one event. They build communities, nurture collaboration, enable visitors to enhance their careers and facilitate relationships that last.
GroundsFest will be a completely different experience to the other industry shows. Other events are held indoors during the winter. In comparison, GroundsFest is a summer event with a mix of indoor and outdoor space.
If a Ground team can only choose a couple of events a year, why should they consider it?
We don’t want GroundsFest to be seen as just another show. Instead, we want it to be an event for the whole industry – an event where those in a management position can bring the whole team along with them. As well as seeing products in action, there is going to be some great hands-on, interactive features. For example, there will be live working stations where visitors can find out the latest trial data on pesticides, fertilisers, bio-stimulants and many more. There will also be a service workshop where a leading expert will be on hand to tell you how to maintain and get the best out of your equipment.
GroundsFest will also provide accredited education seminars with CPD points being available, a wellbeing hub – which will provide information, advice, and guidance about emotional and mental wellbeing; and of course, there will be live music which will prove to be an excellent networking opportunity after day one.
We have also recently confirmed two new areas to the event. The Landscape Zone is an area dedicated to all those involved in the planning, design, and construction of outdoor environments in the landscaping sector. The Landscape Zone is set to spotlight the latest outdoor environment technologies, solutions and innovations and will be a must-attend event for landscape architects, local authority landscaping professionals, garden designers, landscape contractors, interior designers, facilities managers and many more.
The second new addition to the event is a retail area by FR Jones and Son. This will be a huge area where people are able to buy tools and equipment at the show and have exclusive discounts from some of the leading manufacturers only available at GroundsFest.
Where is the venue and what transport options are for those maybe looking to come on public transport and roads?
GroundsFest is at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. The venue is located at the heart of the UK between the M6 and M40 motorways. Royal Leamington Spa. Warwick and Warwick Parkway rail stations are situated on the main London Marylebone line. The Birmingham line stops for the Virgin West Coast Mainline.
We have about 11,000 parking spaces, which means less time searching for a spot and more time enjoying your day. Furthermore, our parking is free of charge!
You have speakers, do you have anyone our readers would recognise?
We are working hard behind the scenes on this area. We will be working with associations and also some of the leading names within the industry. As mentioned above, we are looking to be different from current shows so our education programme will be a real hands-on experience with leading training provider Grounds Training as our LANTRA approved training partner. Instructors for the two days will include Martin Sampson, Steve Potter, Keith Kent and Chris Parry.
Can you provide a link to tickets, which l assume are free to attendees?
Our registration will go live in May. It will be free to attend and as mentioned above, onsite car parking will be free, ensuring that every visitor can get full value out of attending. There will also be onsite camping for those interested.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about GroundsFest, please sign-up to our newsletter by visiting groundsfest.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn @GroundsFest.
Chris on behalf of GroundsFest