SALTEX revenue fuels growth and support for grounds management industry

The Grounds Management Association (GMA) proudly announces the continued investment of revenue generated from the SALTEX (Sports Turf Amenities Landscaping Trade Exhibition) exhibition back into the industry, bolstering support for professional and community sport across the nation.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the GMA (formerly the Institute of Groundsmanship) has continually re-invested revenue generated from its annual exhibition back into the grounds management industry since its inauguration in 1938. Naturally, due to the success of the show year on year, that contribution continues to grow, further demonstrating how SALTEX continues to power progress in the industry.

Thanks to the success of SALTEX 2023, the GMA has been able to subsidise approximately 67% of its membership base, providing essential support to those at the heart of grounds management. With community and student memberships benefiting the most, this underscores the GMA’s commitment to nurturing talent and ensuring that the highest standards of grounds care are upheld across the industry.

In addition to supporting membership, the revenue from SALTEX 2023 has helped to subsidise 1,900 GMA training courses for grounds professionals, both in person and online. The GMA’s unique suite of training courses and qualifications are instrumental in advancing the knowledge and skills of grounds professionals, fostering a culture of excellence within the industry. Not only does the GMA provide training and education to the industry, but it also provides independent information, advice, and guidance to those wishing to develop their knowledge. This is recognised by the fact that the GMA is the only industry association to be accredited by the Department of Education’s matrix Standard.

Since 2009, revenue generated from SALTEX has consistently supported the GMA’s annual Industry Awards, which recognises excellence in grounds care across the professional and voluntary sectors. The event brings together many of the UK and Europe’s leading practitioners and suppliers to pay tribute to the very best in the industry. Previous winners have gone on to climb the career ladder, with many benefitting by the GMA’s training and qualifications.

The GMA’s annual awareness campaign, #Groundsweek, has also benefited significantly from SALTEX’s revenue. The campaign shines a spotlight on the critical work of grounds staff and volunteers, celebrating their dedication and impact on sports at every level. It aims to inspire new recruits to join the sector. This year the campaign amassed an online reach of 18 million, with over 2,500 pieces of online content being produced by over 1,000 unique authors. Once again, demonstrating that the GMA continues to unite the industry, driving recognition of the valuable work that grounds staff do to help make sport possible.

Highlighting the strides in diversity and inclusion within the industry, SALTEX revenue recently supported the ‘Women in Grounds’ showcase event at the Emirates Stadium in partnership with the Women’s Super League, Women in Football and Arsenal FC. This landmark event saw thirteen trailblazing women from across the grounds care sector come together to highlight the contributions of women in grounds management, inspiring a new generation to join the field. With over 2.3 million impressions across social media, the initiative garnered national coverage with an estimated reach of 188 million, placing the role of grounds staff right at the fore.

Over the past ten years, SALTEX has enjoyed unwavering support from sports’ national governing bodies (NGBs), highlighting the event’s pivotal role in uniting and elevating the grounds management industry. Over the last three years, visitors have had the opportunity to interact with NGBs such as the Football Association, Football Foundation, the England and Wales Cricket Board, Rugby Football Union, and the Rugby Football League. This engagement has provided valuable insights into the availability of funding and the ways in which these bodies contribute to community sports.

Sarah Cunningham, Director of Commercial and Events at the Grounds Management Association said: “By attending SALTEX, visitors and exhibitors are supporting the vital year-round work that enables the GMA to invest in its members, education, and training. It allows us to continue to lobby, to influence, and to create stakeholder relationships with sports bodies and the like, that create inward investment back into the sector.

“We would like to thank all visitors, exhibitors, and partners of SALTEX. Together, we are cultivating a brighter future for the grounds management industry, ensuring that sports can thrive from the grassroots to the elite. We look forward to making SALTEX 2024 the best yet.”

SALTEX takes place at Birmingham NEC on 30th and 31st October 2024. Exhibitors wishing to secure their place at Europe’s premier sports turf, amenities, and landscaping trade exhibition can contact saltexsales@thegma.org.uk.

For more information and to register your interest for SALTEX 2024, visit https://www.saltex.org.uk/ .

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