GrootGroenPlus well-attended and more international
The 33rd edition of GGP, held from October 4th to 6th, was well attended. There were a total of 261 participants, spread across three coloured routes (red, blue, and grey), covering a length of over 1.2 kilometres. Even with more space and rentals, there was already a waiting list for participants during the setup, and the technical area also became increasingly crowded.
With 261 participants, there was a growth of approximately 10 per cent compared to the previous year. This year, 70 per cent of the participants were in the green sector, compared to 67 per cent in 2022. The participant field was also more international.
Three successful days
On 4 October at 9:00, GrootGroenPlus 2023 was officially opened. During this word of welcome, the new activity 'ggp.news' was also launched. This news website was created with the support of Stichting EPS, the license holder of the trade fair. On this platform, all updates - and there are quite a few - are collected in both Dutch and English. As of the 2023 edition of GGP, it is possible to enter into a partnership with this news site; the first partnerships were already concluded at the fair.
The first day of the fair gave every reason for satisfaction. On Wednesday, 8% more visitors attended compared to the Wednesday of the previous edition, and there was also more international diversity. The visitor flow was consistently good throughout the day. Various surveys among participants satisfied responses, especially regarding the increased quality of the visitors. All judging had been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday morning, and this was deemed meaningful. This way, the juries got a better sense of the stands while they were 'in action', and visitors could observe the plant judging.
Thursday saw a 12 per cent increase in visitors compared to that day in the previous year. This immediately became the busiest day of the trade fair. On Thursday, the external press tour and the children's press tour took place. The children's press tour is a new addition and was a resounding success and good PR for the tree nursery industry. The mayor and the newly appointed child mayor of the tree nursery municipality of Zundert joined to add even more appeal to the event.
In total, there was an 8.2 per cent increase in visitors over the entire fair compared to 2022, and a 5.3 per cent increase compared to 2021. The higher percentage of international visitors was characteristic, with the largest groups coming from Germany, France, Poland, Italy, England, Portugal, Denmark, Serbia, and Montenegro. The number of international visitors increased from 27 per cent in 2022 to 31 per cent in 2023. The number of represented countries also increased, from 27 to 32.
Of the visitors, 18 per cent stated that this was their first time at GGP. 8.6 per cent identified themselves as forwarders or traders, 4.5 per cent mentioned being involved in garden landscaping, and likewise 4.5 per cent represented a garden centre; these are all increases compared to 2022. 52.6 per cent stated that they were the owners of the company they represented during their visit, and 9.4 per cent identified themselves as purchasers. The latter is also an increase compared to 2022.
9.7 per cent knew the trade fair from printed trade magazines. 7 per cent heard about GGP through the Internet. 41.5 per cent came to GGP based on an advertisement. 20 per cent of the advertisements were in print media, and 80 per cent were online.
Once again this year, awards and medals were presented. All award ceremonies can be digitally reviewed through the app, the website, and the YouTube channel. The photo albums are also available on the website. The theme 'Dynamic & Digital' was evident throughout the fair; in the decoration of the stands but also in the program components. The KVBC awarded six medals for the novelties. In the second Green Grand Prix judging, where a total of 19 plants were judged, five plants received a classification. The Zunderts Groen Imago Prijs, the Jac Lodders Award, and the Jan van Dongen Award were all distributed as usual. These award ceremonies can also be reviewed on YouTube.
The Dutch press was well-represented during these three days, but the international press was also present in greater numbers and at the invitation of GGP. There were no less than 20 foreign trade journalists present, mainly from Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Denmark, England, and Belgium. In the coming period, we will see articles in both domestic and international media. Those who could not attend have, of course, received information and images.
This year, the trade fair was organized for the first time at the Business Centre Treeport (BCT) grounds. While some people found the location a bit challenging to find, many others were extremely enthusiastic. Given the increased number of visitors, people generally managed to find their way. The layout was spacious and clear, and thanks to the continuation of the IKEA route and ambiance, the atmosphere in the halls was just like in the past. Overall, the positive 'vibe' was palpable at the trade fair. The positive feedback is also confirmed by the registrations already received for the 34th edition of the trade fair, which will take place from 2 - 4 October 2024. The registration form is now also available to the public.
However, the fair is not over yet; the current offerings of the participants remain available through Varb in the trade fair app and on the website under the heading 'current offerings'. In addition to the current offerings, the extensive participant profiles will also be available until December. The routes have also been fully filmed, so reviewing them is very easy.