Despite having the misfortune to be running their first show in the midst of a period of travel chaos throughout the UK, the organisers, Centre Exhibitions, claim that the show was a great success. Total attendance on the trade days of Golfexpo was 4,815. A further 1,211 people attended the Club House 2000 taking place next door and were free to visit Golfexpo if they wished to do so, making 6,026 the total trade attendance for both shows.
The number of PGA members attending was 972 (included in the figure above), a marginal increase in the number who attended the last golf show held at the NEC. Over the weekend the show was attended by 10,086 members of the public.
“The fact that more than 10,000 people attended over the weekend certainly demonstrates the need for a public golf show,” said Graham Guy of Titleist & Footjoy. “To get 10,000 people there despite all the travel difficulties was quite a good number. All things considered we were relatively pleased.
“I think it would be fair to say that the Trade Days met our expectations,” he continued. “Even though the numbers were not overwhelming there were quality people there. The opportunity of giving golf professionals one-on-one demonstrations of our Titleist Launch Monitor was of real value to us and served to illustrate Titleist’s position in the club market which is firmly in the direction of the better players.”
For Spalding, marketing manager Ian Stringfellow commented, “We will always look to support the industry’s key show. We had a steady throughput of visitors to the stand on the trade days and secured a lot of orders for our Strata, Topflight XL2000, Etonic and Ben Hogan brands. The Public days have been very busy and we’ve seen lots of knowledgeable and enthusiastic visitors.”
“Golfexpo was put together at the request of the industry to represent the PGA, European Golf Industry Association and the many suppliers of golf products and services. The show was a great success and we want to build upon that success for next year,” said Renà© Bros, Centre Exhibitions manager. “Obviously we will review what worked well and the areas that can be improved upon. We have already invited all the manufacturers to review and plan for next year and the details for the 2001 Golfexpo will be confirmed in the next few weeks.
The event will be huge – you can’t get a bigger partner than Ryder Cup! Our exhibition expertise coupled with the prestige of the Ryder Cup 2001 will ensure that Birmingham is the European capital of golf next year.”
When asked to give his views not only about Golfexpo but also the whole future of golf trade shows, Andy Bough of Glenmuir spoke for many when he said, “We were pleased with the opportunity Golfexpo provided to launch Glenmuir’s Ryder Cup 2001 European Team Collection to the UK golf trade and consumers, and were very happy with the reaction from suppliers and the public alike. So for Glenmuir, Golfexpo 2000 was a success.
“With regard to the future of the show, and of golf trade shows in general, it is clear the industry has some way to go to provide a meaningful forum that encourages golf professionals and high street retailers to attend a British Trade Show in any meaningful numbers. Once we have seen the success or otherwise of next week’s Première Golf show in Marbella, we really must pull together a clear strategy that includes all the major players in the industry. If not, our customers will continue to prefer to make their buying decisions in the comfort of their own shop, which I do not believe is in the best interests of either retailers or suppliers.”
For the EGIA, Jacqui Baldwin confirmed that discussions have already taken place between a number of the major brands and Centre Exhibitions and there is certainly a desire to move forward together. In addition, the EGIA has a General Meeting of members scheduled for 5th December where GolfExpo 2001 will be one of the main topics of discussion. The Chairman of the Association, Cliff Dews, encouraged members of the EGIA to attend this meeting to air their views, saying: “We all realise that whatever we do in 2001, we must do it together. However, it is impossible for the EGIA or Centre Exhibitions to plan for the future without the input and support of the membership.”