Augsburg– the historic Bavarian city that is the new venue for GOLF EUROPE 2012 – is known for its warm welcome for visitors. One such visitor, Golf Business Development (GBD) magazine editor Ben Evans, enjoyed his first experience while checking out the 48,000 sq metre Augsburg Trade Show Centre that will house GOLF EUROPE from 16-19 September. For research purposes, he also sampled three Augsburg brewed beers and a Riesling from the region…
GBD magazine was the firstUKgolf publication to visitAugsburgto look at the GOLF EUROPE offering. Around an hour’s drive fromMunich, visitors to Augsburg will find a compact city venue bursting with character and history, providing first-class social facilities to complement the Augsburg Trade Show Centre.
GBD editor Ben Evans was given a tour of the Trade Show Centre and found a well set-out building that offers space seemingly greater than Munich’s M.O.C., where the GOLF EUROPE expo enjoyed its prime years, but not as large as the Messe München new trade fair centre which was frankly too big for an event like GOLF EUROPE. The Augsburg building is spacious, light, with excellent facilities including plenty of car parking, unloading areas and quick links toAugsburgcentre.
The Messe Augsburg team have clearly embraced their new golf event. Show director Gerhard Reiter and his close-knit team (GBD also met with project managers Melanie Söhnel, Tanja Hermann, and Philip Haeussler) are passionate about creating the highest quality of show. Gerhard Reiter has directed and staged countless large-scale exhibitions and events over many years (at the centre, shows also cater for a huge lift/elevator expo, an international hunting & fishing event, and plenty of others). The team talked about their serious focus on re-establishing GOLF EUROPE as a long-running show and building on the previous success of theMunichversion.
On GBD’s visit the Messe Augsburg team had been delighted with the news confirming the continuing relationship between GOLF EUROPE and the PGAs of Europe.
On announcing the partnership, the PGAs of Europe stated: “The news is a great boost for the golf industry acrossEuropeand beyond as exhibitors and potential buyers welcome back the opportunity to plan their merchandising and servicing operation for the year ahead while networking with PGA professionals, high street retailers and the media.”
PGA professionals in attendance will have access to the usual wide-ranging GOLF EUROPE educational programme of seminars and workshops presented by specialists in their particular field, coordinated jointly by the PGAs of Europe and PGA of Germany.
Gerhard Reiter said: “We are very pleased that GOLF EUROPE has found a new home in Augsburg and that it has found sound partners to take the successful concept forward into the future.
“At the Messe Augsburg exhibition grounds, we believe we have put the word ‘show’ back into GOLF EUROPE. There will be a stage for speakers and a catwalk, both of which will give manufacturers, buyers and pros additional promotional opportunities. The demonstration area with nets at the end of Hall 3 will create the opportunity to try out the latest equipment and supplement the demo day at the start of the event. Furthermore, we plan on holding ‘Get into Golf’ events across the city, basically ensuring that golf takes over Augsburg for this weekend in September.”
An innovative city public golf day on the Saturday, an Orlando-style Demo Day on the same day (day before exhibition), and equipment hitting nets, speaker platforms, educational seminars and fashion shows during the three-day exhibition, all aim to build on the format of GOLF EUROPE that was successful in Munich between 1993 and 2010.
Like Munich before it, Augsburg offers travel convenience in terms of a shuttle-bus service either from Munich airport, Allgäu Airport Memmingen, or the Augsburg mainline station.
Augsburg is an attractive, historic city, which visitors will enjoy and find good value in accommodation and restaurants.
On a tour of the city, GOLF EUROPE project manager Melanie Söhnel spoke of how friendly the city is for visitors and in her opinion it is one of the most welcoming and culturally tolerant to all nationalities and religions. This writer found it to have a very relaxed atmosphere, with a steady flow of busy locals rather than a rush. It is possible to walk everywhere in the centre easily and there are some exciting restaurants and beer halls and bars (there are also plenty of trams).
There are seven breweries in Augsburg and a number brew on the premises in beer halls, leading to a wonderfully fresh brew, whether you favour the clear or cloudy beers. One beer hall owned by Hasen-Brau (the ‘rabbit’ brewery) was spectacular. Walk into the large beer hall with a symmetrical look and you are immediately greeted by the smell of hops. One long bar at the back of the space beneath enormous brewing vats, and you can eat local produce and drink the beer straight from the tap. Another haunt, the city’s ‘Ratskeller’ in the main square, was also great fun with some fine architectural flourishes.
The editor particularly enjoyed both the cloudy and clear examples of the beer from ‘Brauhaus Riegele’. (“Absolutely delicious and a crime that we can’t get this in Salisbury!”) The restaurants offer plenty of Bavarian specialties in food including white asparagus and ‘Spaetzle’ (noodle dumplings), and also beef and pork, but the restaurant feel is also quite cosmopolitan, offering plenty of choice of food and wine, both German and international.
GBD editor Ben Evans said: “Many readers will have gone to many of the GOLF EUROPE events in Munich and I’m sure will remember the professionalism in which those shows were run. I was pleased to meet the Messe Augsburg team and experience the real enthusiasm they have for further developing GOLF EUROPE. The approachable and friendly team also have a clear determination to succeed and make the show an excellent proposition for all taking part.”
Ben added: “I really enjoyed the centre of Augsburg and I think it will provide a great centre for informal networking at the end of each show day. There are some nice hotels and excellent bars; a great mix of old Bavaria and modern city living. I could see plenty of good deals being made over a beer or two.
“Obviously, it’s not all about networking in the evening. We will be looking closely to see how the Messe Augsburg team can develop and build on the GOLF EUROPE format, and what they can bring in to take the show on further, at a time when many companies large and small choose to showcase their products in different ways.
“Talking to people in 2011, when there wasn’t a GOLF EUROPE event; many people really did miss this important link to the continental and international market. GOLF EUROPE is a great place to meet European clients under one roof and for some, find key new clients from golf’s emerging nations.”
For more information, go to www.golf-europe.com, or call +49 (0)821 2572 204. ForUK andIreland enquiries: Pattern (Trade Fairs) Ltd office: +44 (0)203 375 8230.