A 'festival of features' fuels the landscaping community at new FutureScape Spring event

on Wednesday, 20 March 2019. Posted in News

A natural progression of the FutureScape family, FutureScape Spring signed off its first show last week on a wave of positive feedback from the landscape community.

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With its focus on people, tech and sustainability, the spotlight shone brightly across what has become these events’ signature Seminar Programmes. The debates and live panel discussions placed a rich and diverse array of the landscape’s key influencers, leaders and heroes front of stage for an audience of over 2000 attendees who braved the onset of Storm Gareth to flood to Sandown Park Racecourse on Tuesday 12 March 2019.

Listening and learning from the landscaping community

Blending first-time participants with serial attendees hungry for inspiration for their landscape designs, concepts, builds and developments, show feedback could not have been more complimentary. Eljays44 Limited, a family-run business headed by Jim Wilkinson and home to the flagship events, trade and retail publications and cross-industry awards, has continually developed its services and offerings to enrich and engage its colleagues across the landscape spectrum from growing to construction, retail to grounds maintenance.

“We were delighted with the first FutureScape Spring, the visitor numbers were a lot higher that our original expectation. The seminars were well attended, the speakers were fantastic and some very interesting and topical debates were covered. The exhibitors must also have been impressed, as they were queuing up to book FutureScape Spring 2020!” – Jim Wilkinson, Managing Director, FutureScape

“A great day yesterday with the wonderful Rae Wilkinson, Manoj Malde, How Green Nursery and Jamie Butterworth, sharing their thoughts on the world of plant design. Inspiring as always at FutureScape. – Trace Johnson, Little Acre Garden Design

A fresh, open approach
Exhibitors and visitors commended the Show’s open aspect, with four Seminar Zones within the main body of the Surrey Hall at Sandown Park Racecourse. Attendees could drop in at leisure and catch a few pearls of landscape wisdom from 25 speakers in 18 seminars, discussing a range of topics from recruitment, better business and planting trends to living walls, show gardens and 3D digital design. Running along the hall was an open plan Relaxation Zone, styled in “living coral” to complement the Show’s Pantone Colour of the Year theme, and proved a popular break-out area and meeting place for a quick recharge.

Seminar Plant theatre

“The hospitality shown to our group was excellent. The afternoon was splendid – from the stage that looked great, the friendly welcome from the staff to the food, nicely presented (and of excellent quality). All your staff who helped us during the day were most helpful and very professional.” – Joanna Hargreaves, plants@work

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'With an impressive number of visitors in attendance to the first ever FutureScape Spring event we left Sandown Park Racecourse with over 70% renewal rate.” – Jamie Wilkinson, Events Director, FutureScape

To meet, reward and collaborate

Intertwined with the Show’s timeplan, FutureScape Spring combined activities and content from its partnerships with The RHS and Plants at Work, the interior landscaping association. The British Association of Landscape Industries also held a regional breakfast meeting prior to the doors opening. The RHS and Plants at Work Zones featured member-specific content but was also of broader interest to the attending audiences from beyond the horizons of interior and show garden development. Plants at Work extended their day’s successes into their evening celebrations with the Plants at Work Awards taking place at show close and celebrating the very best in interior landscaping.

New Industry Accolades for Podium Landscapes
Never missing a beat, the FutureScape Spring agenda also encompassed a lunchtime celebration of a previously-unrewarded sector of the landscaping world: The Podium Landscape. The inaugural Podium Landscape Awards, sponsored by Bourne Amenity, were a hearty pat on the back for landscape companies worthy of commendation in their creation and supply of materials for commercial and domestic podium landscapes and roof gardens.

A springboard to FutureScape Spring 2020
With a new sponsor of FutureScape Spring 2020 already agreed in principle at the Show, Jim is confident that the future of FutureScape Spring is fresh, focused and formidable. “Introducing a spring show means that the marketplace now has a second seasonal opportunity to make bold strides forward, build better businesses and maintain their momentum in a challenging landscape.”

The next FutureScape will take place on 19 November 2019. To find out more, visit www.futurescapeevent.com