The ARB Show proves a great success

The ARB Show proves a great success
With a record number of exhibitors and over two thousand visitors, the 15th annual ARB Show has been heralded one of the best yet by organisers the Arboricultural Association.

"I'd like to thank all our exhibitors, visitors and behind-the-scenes teams for their support and for making the ARB Show 2013 a truly successful event," said Karen Martin, Chief Executive of the Arboricultural Association, speaking after the Show.  

"I hope everyone made good contacts and had an informative, valuable and worthwhile visit and that our highly valued exhibitors managed good business at the Show.  I thank you all sincerely for your support."

The Arboricultural Association's 15th annual trade fair, held on 14th and 15th June, was justifiably hailed a resounding success by the organisers. Visitor numbers were over 25 per cent up on the previous year with more than 2,100 attending over the two days, plus over 100 people who were at the Show to take part in demonstrations and competitions at the event.   The ARB Show attracted arborists and specialist tree workers from across Great Britain, confirming the event's standing as the country's single and biggest show dedicated to ARB.

A record 81 exhibitors including many newcomers, attended this year's sell-out ARB Show and were very positive about the benefits of the event.

Show sponsor STIHL GB set their Technical Centre in the main part of the showground, and were kept busy with visitors who wanted an update on the latest STIHL technologies or specialist advice from the technical team at the Show each day.  Commenting on the event, Sally-Ann James, Product Marketing Manager for STIHL GB said: "It was a great show for STIHL, the weather held off and there was a strong interest on the stand. As always the technical crew were busy most of the day and it was great to have such positive feedback about our new technologies, and the new STIHL X-FLEX PPE, which was being exhibited before its release next year."

Global Recycling attended the Show for the first time since 2008, with their new range of wood chippers and stump grinders. Rachel Shaw, Sales Manager for Global Recycling, was very positive about their experience of the event: "It was a very good show for us and well put together.  We achieved sales; the event targeted the right people for our machinery and we will definitely be booking a stand next year," she said.  When asked about the interest from visitors she said: "We could actually have done with a third day, with the amount of people coming through."

John Wilson from regular exhibitors, Wilson Machinery, said they come back to the ARB Show year after year quite simply because it is very good show, located in a strong business area for them.

Another exhibitor, Fuelwood did not attend the ARB Show last year, but upon returning in 2013, said they would definitely be back next year. Samantha Eales, General Manager for Fuelwood, said she was pleased with the amount of people at the Show and staff on Friday didn't even get time for lunch it was so busy: "It provides the right type of customer and we've had a great response from really interested customers."

The STIHL–sponsored Contractor's Workshop once again proved popular among visitors, with a programme of 30-minute seminar sessions on a variety of topics ensuring something to interest every visitor.  Presentations ranged from Karen Martin's vision for the Arboricultural Association, through the hot topic of Pests and Diseases to a fascinating tale of African Tree exploration.

In addition to the Contractor's Workshops, there was a busy schedule of technical demonstrations which took place each day attracting many visitors keen to learn more about new kit and technologies or wanting to refresh or update their skills. The STIHL-sponsored Treevolution team from Scotland led by Chris White, shared their knowledge on aerial rescues and assisted tree felling, as well as demonstrating some of STIHL's new chain saw technologies in the woodland demo area.  Demonstrations included the new STIHL MS 150 TC-E lightweight top-handled pruning chain saw and the MS 441 C-M chain saw with its M-Tronic self-tuning engine. This year one lucky visitor also became the lucky owner of an MS 150 TC-E chain saw – which he won in the free prize draw just by registering at the Show.  Congratulations go to Paul Yates of Yates Tree Surgery in Worcestershire, who attended the Show on the Friday and is now the proud new owner of the MS 150 TC-E.

Demonstrations that took place around a veteran Beech tree on the showground also drew a large crowd, with Vikki Bengtsson of the Ancient Tree Forum talking about the important of old trees and the different pruning techniques needed to maintain them.  Dr Helen Read of the Ancient Tree Forum also spoke about the crown reduction of lapsed beech pollard at Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire and presented an introduction to the VETree project which provides vocational courses and learning resources for veteran tree management.

Further practical and interactive demonstrations added to visitors' enjoyment and the benefits of a visit to the Show.  The 14th annual AUS Utility Skills competition for example, gave spectators a fascinating insight into this specialist area, testing teams in a range of work-related tasks including a tree rescue, a challenge related to safe and accurate insulated rod use, and a rescue from a utility pole.

Sponsored by industry jobs noticeboard this year's 3ATC UK OPEN attracted an impressive 48 enthusiastic entrants. In recent years the 3ATC (Arboricultural Association Arborist Tree Challenge) UK Open event has proved a popular visitor attraction at the ARB Show.  The tree climbing challenge tests competitors' skills and safety in a simulated work climb around one of the large and majestic Cedar trees on the edge of the showground.  The 3ATC OPEN event is as its name implies, open to the three different categories of competitor, catering for all levels from the novice to the most experienced climber. The event always produces some friendly rivalry between competitors and this year was no exception.  Prizes were generously provided by the 3ATC OPEN sponsor and each climber received an exclusive "I was Arb enough" t-shirt.     

The winners of each category were:
  • Premier Category: Martin Unwin : F.C.T* 12.05  
  • Expert Category: Graham Bird : F.C.T* 1.44
  • Novice Category: Philip Veal : F.C.T* 5.24 (optimum Novice time 5.30)
  • * F.C.T : Final Climb Time after penalties and bonusses.
Premier Category competitors install access lines and climb from the ground up in to the tree. Expert and Novice competitors start their climb times from the top of the tree.

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