After more years than most of us care to remember, the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA) took the brave move of relocating PestTech to a new venue – to the Ricoh Arena near Coventry. And with this came a slight change of date – simply to a week later.
In pest control, it’s a well known fact that rodents are neophobic – but to the list of species afraid of new locations, judging by some of the reactions to the move, pest controllers can also be added! But having taken the plunge and reset the SatNav to the Ricoh their fears were largely overcome.
Declared a great success
According to the organisers, visitor numbers were over the 1,000 mark – but around 80 down compared to 2016, which apparently is to be expected for any well established event at a new venue. Visitors, as to expected, came from nearby but not exclusively - some came from as far away as north of Inverness.
Visitor registration worked well, especially if you had pre-registered as all you did was pop your bar coded acceptance email into the machine and out shot a smart two-sided delegate badge.
Good food and somewhere to sit
Add to this the friendly and very helpful support staff on duty at the Ricoh, plus the large free car parking area, this made driving to the venue an easy option for technicians in their vans. However, fathoming out how to get your parking ticket validated at the end of the day did stretch the brain buds somewhat.
PestTech or PestEx - the differences blur
As is always the way, there were several organisational gripes. Numerous exhibitors commented on the lateness of the required exhibition forms and certainly advance information on the web, including registration for visitors, was either late or attracted criticism.
As a rule of thumb, exhibitors claimed the cost of exhibiting had doubled – they wondered if their payback in custom had also doubled? Having put in all the work on professional stands, should the event be extended to two days – or would the same number of visitors simply be spread over those two days? Who knows?
Registration was quick and easy especially if
The exhibition was all in one light and airy room
The seminars were well attended but were some
It wouldn't be a PestTech event without the
Nor the snakes which fortunately pest controllers rarely encounter in the UK
It was good to see that even despite the stresses and strains, Julie managed to retain her sense of humour!
As for the future...
Quite what NPTA is going to do next is still undecided. No dates, and even no venue, has been agreed for 2018.
NPTA has already had to shift from its traditional first week of November, as the Ricoh has signed a contract with the snooker for these dates. Going a week later posses another problem as the big French event, Parasitec, which is held in Paris alternate years, is already booked for 14-16 November 2018. This may not cause a problem for most of the visitors, but it does create huge headaches for the exhibitors, and also the Pest team, who can’t be in two places at the same time.
So, as they say, watch this space and as soon as a final decision is made, Pest will report it.