Comment – PlantworX shows the way…

2015 was the year in which the fledgling equipment show truly flew.

Plantworx 2015 photoAnyone that attended the PlantworX 2013 exhibition may recall a certain feeling in the aisles; a certain look in the eyes of exhibitors and visitors. Despite the success of that inaugural show, the overwhelming feeling was one of relief that the industry had actually survived the longest and deepest recession in living memory. The look in the eyes of all who attended was a mixture of unity, determination and defiance that spoke of the industry’s Dunkirk spirit.

But PlantworX 2015 was a different animal altogether. The fierce winds on the opening day of the show quickly blew away all memories of the previous show, and blew in a bigger, brighter and bolder show that reflected the upward trajectory of the wider industry.

The aisles were busier, the smiles wider, and chequebooks waved every bit as enthusiastically as the exhibitor flags at the Bruntingthorpe show ground. 2015 might mark only the second outing for the PlantworX show but it also marked the exhibition’s coming of age. Exhibitors were there to do business (and business they most certainly did); visitors were there to plan and make purchases.

There was much to admire across the length and breadth of the show, not least in the Site Clearance and Demolition Zone sponsored by DemolitionNews and the reborn Demolition magazine. There was new kit never seen before at a UK exhibition at every turn, innovations aplenty, and demonstrations to make your toes curl.

The Construction Equipment Association (CEA) deserve much credit for their relaxed yet wholly inclusive approach to the show’s organisation which fostered a pervasive co-operative feel with exhibitors and visitors made to believe they were part of something just a bit special. Their innovative Student Trail on the final day – in which schoolchildren were invited to the exhibition to see what construction and demolition is all about – was inspired and should be repeated, not just at PlantworX.

But the greatest credit must go to everyone at the show; from the large multinational manufacturers, through the smaller specialist suppliers to the organisers, stewards and backroom staff to the visitors that gave up their time to attend.

Together, they finally gave us a show that is a worthy successor to the SED in its Whipsnade pomp.