There is just one month to go until the marquee networking and education event of the GCMA calendar, the three-day GCMA 2019 Conference, kicks off at DeVere Cotswold Water Park on 10 November.
Bringing together golf club managers and industry professionals from across the UK and Europe, the conference offers invaluable networking opportunities alongside a programme of inspiring keynote speakers and industry led break-out sessions.
The GCMA have introduced some key changes from the 2017 edition, including a move back to a residential conference, with all delegates staying in accommodation on-site at the Gloucestershire venue.
In an attempt to satisfy delegates never-ending thirst for networking opportunities, the association has also introduced a new ‘Breakfast Brains’ session, a more informal discussion forum to allow delegates to get together with likeminded people to discuss a topic that they’re looking to dive into more deeply.
Global sports branding expert Fred Popp kicks off the programme with a careers seminar for the association’s Young Managers Group looking at ‘Crafting your personal brand’. Fred will also host a breakout session later in the conference looking at the process of re-branding The Open that began in 2014.
A relaxed programme of informal social events runs throughout Sunday evening, including a Q&A session with Jazzy Golfer.
Ross Matheson, club manager at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, then launches the keynote programme on Monday morning, offering an insight into high performance club management at the most prestigious tennis club in the world.
The breakout strands have been refined, with seven clear streams of activity directing delegates to the sessions that most appeal to the challenges and opportunities they’re facing.
- Strategic thinking
- Marketing & social media
- Leadership development
- Governance for club mangers
- Golf course for the club manager
- Disruptive innovation
- Governance for the committee
Rob Hill from Global Golf Advisors will be the hardest working man at the conference, delivering the entire Strategic Thinking strand, over six separate sessions across two days, looking at every step in the strategic planning process, from ideas to implementation.
Club management legend Gregg Paterson runs him close, however, delivering a keynote, two breakout sessions and a shared keynote with Kevin Fish, looking at the importance of identifying and measuring social and operational KPIs.
As well as spreading his gospel on improving golf club governance, Contemporary Club Leadership’s Kevin Fish will also launch the GCMA’s recent benchmarking project with the clubs involved.
The conference concludes with The Open Journey – a keynote session chaired by BBC Golf’s Iain Carter, with Wilma Erskine and Colin Burns. Having recently retired from Royal Portrush, Wilma will reflect on her experience of hosting The Open this year, whilst Colin looks forward to Winged Foot’s responsibilities as the 2020 US Open hosts.
Other speakers throughout the conference include Alastair Higgs, Jim Croxton, Daniel Sommerville, Steve Isaac, Simon Smith, Dr Roger Hawkes, Vanessa Bell and Brendon Pyle, Mark Hunt, Stuart Gillett, Amy Yeates, David Bancroft-Turner, Mike Timson and Keith Robertson.
The GCMA 2019 Conference takes place at DeVere Cotswold Water Park from 10-12 November, and the full programme is available to view here