In the wake of the destruction in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina, officials of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) have announced that the Golf Industry Show and their respective education conferences will be conducted in Houston in February 2006.
The conferences and trade show were to be in New Orleans in accordance with its east-central-west rotation of Orlando-New Orleans-Anaheim/San Diego. The dates will remain the same as were planned: the GCSAA Education Conference (6-11 February), the NGCOA Solutions Summit (8-10) February and the Golf Industry Show (9-11 February).
“Our first concern is with the people of the gulf coast,” GCSAA CEO Steve Mona said. “Our intent was to conduct the activities in New Orleans if at all possible. However, with New Orleans officials announcing the cancellation of all convention activities through March, it forced us to select an alternative location. We found that Houston offered the necessary housing, meeting and trade show space; and enabled us to keep the same dates we had for New Orleans.”
Mona and NGCOA CEO Mike Hughes said their associations plan to return to New Orleans in 2009 as part of the regular rotation.
“New Orleans has been a great host to us in the past and will be a great host to us in the future,” Mona said. “Everything we have done with them has been first class. Our associations will be active in the recovery process.”
Registration, housing and travel for the education conferences and the Golf Industry Show were slated to open on 13th September. Based on relocating the events, officials have tentatively set 1st November as the date for registration to open (a new registration brochure will be produced and distributed by that date). Both organizations are also working with exhibiting companies to reconfigure the trade show floor. The updated registration process will be announced in the near future.
“We establish our locations more than a decade in advance and then spend the better part of two years to work on the details of a particular conference and show,” Mona said. “Obviously, we have only five months to make the necessary arrangements for the next event to happen. We also need to express our thanks to the city of Houston and their convention and visitors bureau staff for helping us in this transition. They have been very accommodating of our needs.”
GCSAA had conducted its conference and show in New Orleans on four previous occasions: 1975, 1982, 1992, 2000. GCSAA returns to Houston for the first time since 1988, having conducted previous events in 1960 and 1970. The NGCOA has not conducted an annual meeting in either New Orleans or Houston.
The inaugural Golf Industry Show was conducted last February in Orlando. The show attracted 22,723 golf industry professionals and featured 826 exhibitors covering more than 270,760 square feet of exhibit space. www.golfindustryshow.com.