Attendees and exhibitors alike gave a big thumbs up to the 2011 Golf Industry Show, conducted 9-10 February in Orlando, lending support to the growing wave of optimism that the golf industry is beginning to shake out of its doldrums.
“Coupled with what we saw at the PGA Merchandise Show in January, there is definitely a different feeling than what prevailed last year at this time,” Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Chief Executive Officer Rhett Evans said. “From a qualitative and quantitative perspective, the Golf Industry Show was quite successful.”
Total attendance for those utilizing the two registration portals – either GCSAA’s or that of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) – was 14,781. That represents a 4 percent increase over 2010 (Note: because the CMAA was not a partner in the Golf Industry Show this year, 2010 CMAA attendance figures were not included as a means for comparison).
In terms of qualified buyers – those who are involved in the purchasing decision – attendance increased 11 percent for a total of 5,752 qualified buyers.
“The numbers reaffirm the value of the show,” NGCOA Chief Executive Officer Mike Hughes said. “Coupled with the feedback from exhibitors, there is reason to be optimistic.”
The Golf Industry Show attracted 551 exhibitors spread across 180,000 net square feet of exhibit space over the two-day event at Orange County Convention Center. That represents a 4 percent decline in exhibition space from last year in San Diego (comparing GCSAA and NGCOA exhibitors).
“The Golf Industry Show was of tremendous value. It was exceptional,” Syngenta Marketing Manager Margaret Bell said. “The attendees were definitely in a buying mood and talking positively about 2011. We are already looking forward to the Golf Industry Show next year in Las Vegas.”
Bell’s words were echoed by fellow exhibitors and attendees.
“I had great conversations on the trade show floor with vendors I already do business with as well as potential vendors,” said Todd Ingraham, owner of Bunker Hill Golf Course in Medina, Ohio. “I learned about some valuable services I wasn’t currently using and discovered a new product I plan to purchase.”
The Golf Industry Show is an innovative trade show designed for the owners/operators of golf facilities and the professional members of the golf course industry. The event combines education, networking and solutions for golf course superintendents, owners, operators, architects, builders, equipment managers, appraisers and others.
The Golf Industry Show is presented by GCSAA and NGCOA, along with participating partners the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), the United States Golf Association (USGA), the National Golf Foundation (NGF), the International Golf Course Equipment Managers Association (IGCEMA), and supporting partner the Society of Golf Appraisers (SGA).
Running concurrently with the Golf Industry Show were the annual education conferences for the Golf Industry Show presenting partners. Numerous educational sessions and seminars focused on solutions to operating in challenging times, environmental management, financial benchmarks, leadership and communications.
A myriad of networking opportunities were available throughout the show for attendees to share and discuss solutions. And exhibitors were able to conduct business with entire leadership teams from golf facilities as golf course superintendents and owners were able to attend the show together as teams to build and implement their business plans utilizing education and discussions with suppliers.
The 2012 Golf Industry Show will be Feb. 29 – March 1 in Las Vegas.