The NPTA celebrated its 30th birthday in style
as PestTech 2023 broke all records in Milton Keynes
Three decades on from the first ever event – which had just a handful of stands when the Midlands Pest Technicians Association, as we were then called, launched it – this year’s exhibition showed exactly how far we’ve come.
Thanks to our incredibly supportive members, sponsors, exhibitors and visitors, PestTech 2023 was even bigger and better yet again, with 67 stands and 1,046 delegates joining us at Stadium:MK.
Queueing delegates flooded in when the doors opened at 9am and were rewarded with a stellar seminar line-up, more to see and do than ever and of course, plenty of 30th birthday festivities to enjoy.
Those celebrations included NPTA cupcakes, retro sweets, balloons, tins of mints, a stunning PestTech-themed birthday cake
and most special of all, a dedicated 30th anniversary stand which was manned by our esteemed founder members John Davison and Paul Burton.
Unsurprisingly, a ‘rogues gallery’ of photographs from the last three decades of PestTech and the NPTA proved a big attraction for a number of reasons!
Managed by NPTA technical support officer Grahame Turner, the seminars kicked off nicely with John Lloyd of IPMIC delivering his talk ‘Phantom Biting Insects & Solutions’, before Lisk & Jones Consultants’ Owen Jones took to the floor with Pheromones and Semiochemicals in Insect Pest Management.
There was standing room only for Kate Cross’ Red Tractor Standards talk, before Trapeeezium’s Lulu Gunter gave some fascinating insight into Social Media Marketing.
Finally, Killgerm’s Matt Davies closed the show brilliantly with his seminar on Zoonoses and Public Health in Pest Control.
Reflecting on this year’s spectacular event, NPTA chief operating officer Steve Hallam said: “It’s been a really successful event.
“Thirty years is a momentous occasion and from where we started, with a few stands at the Nottingham University campus, to 67 stands today 30 years on, is a marvellous achievement.
“We have to thank our founder members who started the ball rolling and are here today, John Davison and Paul Burton. This is a testament to their vision.
“We have to thank our exhibitors over the years because without them, we wouldn’t have such a successful event.”
The support of main sponsors Killgerm, BASF, Syngenta, Lodi and Pelsis remains as crucial as ever to delivering the event for our members and delegates and our partners agreed that the day was a huge success.
“‘Phenomenal’ is probably the only word I could use,” said Lodi UK national business development manager.
“We’ve had an absolutely exceptional response from customers. The measure is things like catalogues all being gone within the first few hours, bags being taken, the stand being completely overrun at one point in a very good way.
“We’ve just had an absolute blast, it’s been really, really good.”
Kavita Mistry, marketing manager for Pelsis, agreed: “It’s been great.”
“We’ve had good footfall across the day and we’ve had lots of new customers and old customers coming to speak to us about our current product range and our new products which we’re launching this year.”
Tim Bloomer of Killgerm was pleasantly “surprised” by the number of visitors in such a busy climate.
“It’s been really good, really, really busy from the get-go,” he said. “As soon as the doors opened the stand has been really busy with people and lots of enthusiasm from people seeking out new products.
“The industry is very buoyant this year, there’s a lot of work out there. I’m probably a little bit surprised with the footfall, to be quite honest, given how busy people are.”
As in previous years, the chance to talk to people face-to-face and interact with products was a highlight for both delegates and exhibitors.
“It was busy right from opening at 9am and it was quite good to see people actually queueing up to be let in,” said BASF global technical marketing manager for rodenticides, Sharon Hughes.
“It’s really good and really promising that people are continuing that interest, post-Covid, to come and actually talk to people on the stands, talk to the manufacturers and distributors and actually get that interaction between each other, as well as listening to the presentations and learning.”
Syngenta technical manager for the UK and Ireland, Sean Loakes, echoed Sharon’s sentiments.
“It’s been such a great event, really good to be here speaking to customers directly,” he said.
“So many pest controllers are excited about the future but are also apprehensive, so it’s good to be here with some new solutions and some solutions they already know, but just speaking to people about the way that they work and getting more out of the products.”
As ever, the bar has been set high for next year but Steve, Donna, Maxine, Grahame and the NPTA board are already working hard to ensure it will be even bigger and better. Roll on 2024!