Staged in the world-class venue of Real Madrid FC’s Training Grounds, with top turf professionals from all disciplines in attendance, the first Turf Business Summit was a real success.
The unique event, which kicked off on the 14th October and wrapped up on 16th October, was attended by a diverse group of turf-care professionals from top-class sporting venues, covering football, cricket, golf, rugby and tennis. There were leading professionals there too from Myerscough College, Schools, Members Clubs across the UK and from the main industry associations, the IOG and BIGGA. Not just a UK-orientated affair, attendees arrived from the United States, Holland and Belgium.
This special event had the perfect mix of debating and networking, with a busy first day driving forward changes in the industry organised through seven streamed groups. Delegates discussed issues and recommended ongoing solutions for:
- Attracting and retaining good staff
- Managing expectations
- Raising the status of the industry
- Education and training
- Commercial issues, and
- Sharing expertise across the industry.
From here on, Turf Business will continue to provide coverage and follow up on the many solutions and suggested initiatives that were revealed and discussed during the event.
There was lavish and traditional Spanish hospitality and many opportunities to admire the immaculate Ciudad Training Grounds. Meanwhile, guests enjoyed staying at Madrid’s stylish Hotel Puerta America, with interesting architectural touches that sparked just as much debate!
The first Turf Business Summit ended in a flourish with a memorable tour of Real Madrid’s iconic Bernabeu Stadium. Founding Patron of the Summit and Real Madrid’s Director of Grounds and the Environment, Paul Burgess provided personalised tours of both this Stadium and the Training Grounds. Speaking on behalf of everyone, as one delegate said: “Paul Burgess is a credit to his profession”.
After the event, Adrian Kay Head Groundsman at York Racecourse also had this to say: “I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and found it interesting and a thought provoking three days. The whole experience was very well organised, with brilliant people to share the experience and fantastic hospitality. ”
Praise also followed from Mike Kemmett, Grounds Manager at Harrow School, who had won a place at the Summit after his online survey was selected at random. He added: “Thank you very much for your hospitality the past few days on what was a huge success for the turf summit! Keep up the excellent work you guys have put into our wonderful industry.”
Turf Business would like to thank all the delegates and sponsors for attending the first Summit. It is thanks to their hard work, insightful contributions and the support of our sponsors that this event – the first of many – was so successful and constructive.