PestEx hits a high note

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For what is now the seventh time, PestEx 2019 was once again held at ExCel in East London over the two days of 20-21 March. As in previous years, exhibitor numbers were high, as were the number of visitors, especially from overseas.
Yet again the organisers, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) were blessed with good weather and there seemed to be a definite cheerful mood – despite the frequent mutterings heard over the subject of Brexit. Quite what, if any, effect this will have on the pest control market remains to be seen. Fortunately the pests themselves know no boundaries, even if the means to control them may have to!

Pestex Entry Halpin Exhibition
From the moment PestEx opened the crowds poured in. BPCA president Phil Halpin (centre), accompanied by
his wife Sarah, were on the door greeting delegates – in this case the team from the leading independent
German magazine, DpS. It was then onward into the exhibition. 

Within the exhibition, the number of individual stands stood at 104, two fewer than in 2017, but still more than enough to make visiting them all over the two days nigh on impossible. As commented on in 2017, the space in the aisles between some of these stands was somewhat cramped, especially when it was mega busy.

Actual visitors to the event are reported by BPCA to be up 11% on previous years. On day one, several of the staff manning their stands were almost hoarse from having spoken to so many people!

Igeba Gloria Plastdiversity
Overseas exhibitors, such as IGEBA from Germany, (left) joined forces with their UK agents Bowden & Knights,
as did sprayer manufacturers Gloria (centre), also from Germany, with their UK agent Tony Gardiner of
GPS Sprayers. Whilst from Portugal came Plastdiversity.

International visitors key
The number and range of both international exhibitors and visitors remains a key feature of PestEx. PestWorld in the USA is certainly a larger event, but for the range of international interests represented, PestEx must surely come out on top.

However there is still much to attract and interest the practical UK pest professionals. In fact some pest control companies treat the event virtually as a works outing and attend en masse.

One thing the venue does score highly on is the number and range of refreshment outlets, not only within the PestEx exhibition hall itself, but also in the ExCel concourse, just a few yards outside the exhibition. So there is plenty of scope for a sit down, a coffee and a meeting. And this was even with two other large exhibitions running alongside PestEx within ExCel.

Kness Orkin Catchmaster
Over from the USA were Kness Pest Defense (left), whilst Tom Luczynski of Orkin was seeking out new franchise and acquisition opportunities accompanied by Tim Sheehan of Orkin-owned Safeguard Pest Control.
Seen right, is Sean Paker and colleagues from AP&G Catchmaster. 

Series of seminars
As is the way at these events, there was a series of seminars running alongside. Delegates were issued with headphones to hear the talks so as not to disturb those on the nearby stands. What was disturbing though was the very poor quality, and totally incompressible, ExCel public address system.

There were two seminar strands. The first covered technical topics, which as usual proved very popular. If not there in good time it was standing room only. The second strand addressed business topics which was less popular, especially towards the end of the second day.

Syngenta Pest Trader Jones
The Syngenta team was out in force (left) and Pest Trader (centre) was celebrating not only its new identity but also the link with David Loughlin of Sentomol. As for the visitor on the right, who knows… 

Awards time…
Rounding off day one, BPCA announced the results of the British Pest Management Awards in the technical theatre. This was the second running of these awards which certainly seem to be gaining popularity. However, there were very mixed feelings regarding the suitability of the actual venue used for their presentation. Master of ceremonies was TV natural history presenter, Mike Dilger, who did a stirling job battling against the noise and keeping the event flowing.

For those with stamina, day one finished with an after show party at the Giant Robot at Canary Wharf.

Awards Cleankill Awards Lancaster Awards Wade
 The British Pest Management Awards were presented at the end of the first day.
Amongst the winners were Cleankill Pest Control (left) who took the company of the year award,
Lancaster City Council, Unbugged for local authority of the year and
(left) Dr Jo Wade who was recognised with a lifetime achievement award presented by Mike Dilger.

Watch out for further reports from PestEx 2019 in the forthcoming issue of Pest magazine – Issue 62: April and May 2019.


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