Attendance at the 2014 NGCOA Annual Conference earlier this month increased more than 10 percent over last year’s event as representatives from 1,524 courses took advantage of educational and networking sessions in Orlando and recognized a group of award winners that included Hall of Fame golfer and renowned course designer Jack Nicklaus.
Conference attendance included 714 registrants who participated in the golf industry’s largest gathering of owners and operators of daily fee, private, resort and municipal courses.
NGCOA CEO Mike Hughes called the conference “an overwhelming success, not only in attendance numbers, but also in the amount and quality of information that attendees were presented.”
The conference theme of “Project: Course Rescue” promised and delivered on actionable information designed to help course owners operate more profitably and efficiently.
Conference keynote speaker Tabatha Coffey, who specializes in rejuvenating businesses on the reality series Tabatha Takes Over, dispensed advice and insights during her lively opening address. “It doesn’t matter what the business is, everyone wants an experience,” she said. “Everything you do, starting with how you answer the phone, is part of the experience. It may sound like small things, but when you put them all together, they create an experience that brings people back.”
Attendees gave high marks to the annual Day at the Golf Facility, hosted by Rosen Shingle Creek. Joined by a wide range of industry experts, Rosen Shingle Creek staff presented innovative ideas and best practices on recycling, increasing revenues from activities on the range and ways the golf shop can make women feel more welcome.
Education sessions that emphasized real-world problems and solutions – including Brainstorming for Success, led by Fore Golf Partners’ CEO Charlie Staples; Shocking Your System, which led attendees through the process of examining internal and external controls; The Price Is Right, a panel discussion on pricing and revenue management; and Markets in Motion, a look at consumer trends led by Global Golf Advisors’ Henry DeLozier – received some of the conference’s highest satisfaction scores from attendees.
Nicklaus, who received the NGCOA’s 2014 Award of Merit, highlighted the association’s annual Celebration Dinner and Awards Gala. In addition to honoring Nicklaus for his long-term contributions to the game, the association also recognized the 2014 Course of the Year (The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch in Boerne, Texas) and winners of its other top awards.
More than 600 of the NGCOA conference attendees also attended the Golf Industry Show, which followed the NGCOA event, also in Orlando. The Golf Industry Show, which is presented by the NGCOA and GCSAA, showcases the golf industry’s latest products and services and offers a wide range of educational opportunities.