Not even the prospects of being relocated twice could dampen the spirits of organizers, attendees and exhibitors of the 2006 Golf Industry Show, conducted 9-11 February in Atlanta.
Originally slated for New Orleans, show hosts were forced to condense two years of planning into five months as the event was initially moved to Houston and then ultimately to Atlanta. The inaugural Golf Industry Show was conducted last year in Orlando.
Presented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America(GCSAA) and the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), the Golf Industry Show is an innovative trade show that features unparalleled networking opportunities and hands-on access to golf course and facility management solutions for professional members of the golf industry. The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) will join as a presenting partner in 2007. Also participating as supporting organizations are the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and the National Golf Foundation (NGF).
“We gain feedback through informal and formal measures, but the early returns are overwhelmingly positive,” GCSAA chief executive officer Steve Mona said. “It is a credit to all of the sponsoring organizations that the show was so well received. Both exhibitors and attendees were particularly impressed with the quality of the trade show.”
Attendance for the event was 18,900, down from the 22,723 that were in Orlando last year, but up from the 18,146 that were in Atlanta in 2003 for the show’s predecessor, the GCSAA International Golf Course Conference and Show. There were 6,650 qualified buyers as opposed to the 8,154 that were in Orlando.
The largest attendee category decline for Atlanta as compared to Orlando were guest registrations, which fell from 3,031 to 1,212. The show follows a geographic rotation of the east (Orlando) – central (New Orleans) – west (Anaheim/San Diego) corridors.
Mike Hughes, chief executive officer of the NGCOA, echoed Mona’s sentiments and made note of the comments from owners. “From the NGCOA’s perspective, the second Golf Industry Show was a major win and added more evidence to our belief that this is the year’s most important gathering of industry leaders,” he said. “Owners were impressed with the quality and consistency of educational offerings, the solutions to business problems they were exposed to and the networking opportunities. I think we left Atlanta with a lot of momentum for Anaheim in 2007 and the years ahead.”
A total of 756 companies exhibited at Atlanta, covering 244,200 square feet of exhibition space. That compares to 826 exhibitors and 270,760 square feet in Orlando. The 2003 show in Atlanta attracted 701 exhibitors covering 245,200 square feet.
“We knew the numbers for Atlanta would be below Orlando for a variety of reasons,” Mona said.
“First, Orlando is traditionally a higher-attended venue due to the family attractions,” he explained.”Second, weather challenges in many parts of the nation during the past year kept some people at home. Third, the relocation back to a southeast venue meant many who attended in Orlando the previous year bypassed Atlanta.
“All in all, we are pleased with the attendance totals, but our true satisfaction comes in the positive feedback we have received from those who were there to conduct business.”
The Golf Industry Show welcomed leaders from all aspects of the golf industry as visitors, participants and contributors to the seminars, forums sessions and special meetings. A total of 74 countries were represented, including 1,659 international attendees. The 2007 Golf Industry Show will be held 22-24 February in Anaheim, Calif.
Golf Industry Show www.golfindustryshow.com
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