Exhibitors at Golf Live have declared it an unrivalled opportunity to reach out to golfers in the UK following the third successful staging of the event.
More than 12,000 golfers descended on the London Golf Club during the three days of Golf Live and with record numbers in attendance on the opening day nearly 50 per cent of companies were moved to secure their place at the 2013 event there and then.
Sean Clancy, golf sales manager for Celtic Manor, was the first to agree his place at next year’s event, doing so shortly after the event opened. He said: “I wish it was more than once a year. This is our third year at Golf Live and we’ve had a really successful event yet again.
“It’s a chance to network with our colleagues in the industry and tour operators and also a chance to meet the public at large and explain to them the many offerings that we have. We value the role that Golf Live plays in allowing us to meet our customers. As the show grows year on year so do our expectations of how much we can benefit by being here at Golf Live.
“I’m quite envious of the people who come here to spectate and enjoy the event. We’re busy at our stand, which is fantastic for us as exhibitors, but I would love to see more of the event itself.”
Celtic Manor enticed visitors to its stand with a blindfolded putting competition; and interactive features were a successful tactic for a host of exhibitors.
Golf Tourism Scotland had an extreme putting challenge and attracted attention from a number of the big-name pros in attendance.
Lee Derrick, the organisation’s chairman, explained: “We have three wood-based holes which start off as hard and get harder; the leading score of each day won a golf trip to Scotland. It’s been brilliant having the pros coming on the stand to have a go. It captures everyone’s imaginations. It’s good interaction with them. Colin Montgomerie came down and he was great on the stand. People are watching them having a go and they’re not finding it easy.
“It’s been a successful three days for us. The show is very different to anything else there is. It’s very creative and, for Scotland, having a big presence here and a lot of interaction gets the awareness of the Scottish product out there and we’ve enjoyed it, it’s been very good.
“It’s a very good quality of visitor coming through and there are a lot of club members who are knowledgeable about their golf and the tourism product. We’ve been talking to the organisers and I think we’re going to be committing to being here for the next couple of years. In the UK from a consumer point of view, Golf Live is the only show for us.”
Overseas destinations were also enjoying a successful show. La Manga Club’s associate director of sales, James Bryan, said: “Golf Live is a tremendous event. As far as getting in front of UK golfers is concerned it can’t be beaten and, as Spain’s flagship golf resort, it has become a key part of our strategy in promoting the resort.”
But it wasn’t only the travel sector receiving attention. The major manufacturers present at the three-day event were a big draw for many visitors and unsurprisingly the huge driving range was packed with golfers testing the latest clubs from start to finish each day.
Leigh Fletcher, Wilson Staff’s technician rep for theUK, said: “This year’s show was really good for us. There was a lot of interest in our range of CR11 clubs and the drivers also did really well. For us, it’s all about getting the product into the hands of people and letting them see for themselves what the clubs are like, and this is one the best ways we can do that.
“Golf Live is one of the biggest events we can do. All the big manufacturers are here and it’s the one event that everybody wants to be at. It’s fantastic.”
Amid displays from golfing greats such as nine-time Major winner Gary Player, visitors could take in the full spectrum of golfing products with everything imaginable on offer.
From new specialist products – like Golfersskin, a sunscreen expressly developed for golfers, and Shamir Lens’ new ophthalmic lenses for golfers to use in sunglasses which can come in the same damage-resistant materials used in Apache helicopters – to major fashion brands, everything was represented, and many exhibitors used Golf Live as a platform to launch new products.
Les Tidy, regional lens consultant for Shamir Lens, said: “The concept of the event is good for us. We’re not only developing golf lenses, we’re working on other specialist lenses, so this type of thing could be the way forward. We’re using this as a starting point to see where we go in future.”
Sligo, a new fashion brand, was also having its first Golf Live experience and the company’s Hannah Gardener said: “The show’s gone really well, it’s been really positive. We’re a new brand to the UK this year – we launched in March – and everyone’s embracing the new designs so it’s been very positive indeed.
“Quite a lot of youngsters have come along which is good because as a new young funky brand we want the younger generation to be wearing it, although a lot of our range is suitable for all ages so it’s good to see a mix of generations here: from tiny little ones looking at the crazy belts to the older gentlemen looking at more conservative items.”
While newcomers to Golf Live were impressed, regular visitors to the event were also pleased, noting a marked improvement in the already high standards set by previous years.
Golfbreaks.com has been a partner of Golf Live since its inceptions and Kate Brewer, the company’s offline marketing manager, said: “It’s been really good, bigger and better than last year. Customers have been really engaged, interested in the show and interested in golf breaks.
“Quality of visitors has been much better and quantity’s been really good – we’ve been really pleased overall. Being a partner of Golf Live has provided great exposure to our core customer base of avid golfers in the south-east. It’s certainly the best consumer show out there and we’re always keen to align ourselves with the best in the industry.”
Golf Live’s sales manager, Chris Secker, was delighted with the feedback received and pledged to make next year’s event an even bigger success. He said: “It’s been a hugely successful event and we’ve had some fantastic feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike.
“Our team is already focused on next year’s event. We’ll be tweaking the layout to maximise footfall throughout the venue and making sure Golf Live 2013 is an even bigger success for everyone involved.”
For more information on Golf Live or to discuss exhibiting at the 2013 event call 020 7471 1080 or email email@example.com.