BIGGA welcomes record numbers to day one of BTME 2019
The halls of the Harrogate Convention Centre were packed out on Tuesday afternoon as the opening day of BTME got underway.
A captain’s drive-in kicked off proceedings, with BIGGA’s official golf partners Rigby Taylor teaming up with Perennial, the groundsman’s charity, to host a golf simulator.
Throughout the day more than 3,360 people came through the main entrance of the convention centre, including over 2,500 greenkeepers and BIGGA members.
As visitors got to grips with the new layout, it was clear that the alterations to the layout had provided more opportunities for conversation and appreciation of what the exhibitors had on offer, while diminishing none of the incredible atmosphere that makes BTME such a special event.
Danny Patten of The Mere Golf Resort won the Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year award. As part of his prize, he won a placement at the Continue to Learn education programme, although he already sees BTME as a major part of the greenkeeping calendar.
Danny said: “I like seeing the machines, seeing what’s out there for my golf club and networking with so many people. BIGGA do a great job and I love BTME, it’s great and it’s something to look forward every year.”
Last year almost 10% of visitors to BTME came from outside the UK and this year there was a huge overseas contingent, including Wendy O’Brien who travelled from Jurmala Golf Course in Latvia.
Wendy said: “For me it’s all about catching up with people. I’m quite isolated in Latvia and so BTME is an opportunity to catch up with suppliers face-to-face, meeting people that I communicate with through email quite a lot, but we don’t have that face-to-face relationship, and so it’s really important.
“I make new friends, meet old friends in the industry and education-wise it’s also really important because I don’t have access to that where I live. So, coming along to some of the education, seminars and workshops, everything combined all in one place is really helpful. Being able to do all that, all in the same place, all in the same week makes it very busy, but it’s fantastic.”
The opening day of BTME concludes with the BIGGA Welcome Celebration sponsored by Jacobsen, where the winners of the BIGGA Awards 2019 are announced.
BTME continues on Wednesday and Thursday and you can get more information by heading to www.btme.org.uk