Buoyed by a robust demand for education and a jam-packed trade show floor, the recently completed 2014 Golf Industry Show, February 1-6 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, proved to be a runaway hit, judging by both the instant analysis provided by attendees through social media channels and the event’s final registration statistics.
Attendees took to Twitter to call the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s (GCSAA) annual education conference and related trade show “productive and successful,” and lauded it for its “great networking, exposure and experience.” Tweets complimented the “awesome education and trade show” and the “great networking and learning.” Longtime GCSAA member Jerry Coldiron, Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS), said his trip to Orlando was, “my 35th golf show, and I would put this one in my top three.”
The numbers back up those anecdotal rave reviews. Total attendance in Orlando was 14,147, an 8 percent increase over the 2013 Golf Industry Show in San Diego. In the classroom, GCSAA’s education program only solidified its reputation as the industry’s gold standard, with 5,192 education seats sold, an increase of 15 percent versus 2013. And on the trade show floor, the good news continued with 6,845 qualified buyers exploring the latest products and services offered by 561 exhibitors spread out over 184,500 square feet of exhibit space. Those numbers represent increases of 14, 9 and 7 percent, respectively, over San Diego.
“While meeting or exceeding all of our internal, pre-event goals is a definite win-win for both GCSAA and its members, the most-satisfying victory that came out of this year’s Golf Industry Show was the overwhelmingly positive responses that we’ve heard from attendees and exhibitors alike,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “We’ll obviously dig deeper into the week through our annual post-GIS surveys, but it’s gratifying to hear that the event largely delivered on its promise to help those in attendance connect, learn and grow. And the enthusiasm that we’ve heard for next year’s visit to San Antonio, Texas (Feb. 21-26, 2015), makes those responses even more rewarding.”
“The enthusiasm for the week’s events that I witnessed in Orlando tells me that the Golf Industry Show is largely hitting the mark,” added Mike Hughes, the CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). “We’ll continue to evaluate the event to make sure it meets the needs of the event’s constituents, but it’s rewarding that the positive responses to the event have been reinforced by the show’s final numbers.”
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America www.gcsaa.org
Golf Industry Show www.golfindustryshow.com
National Golf Course Owners Association www.ngcoa.org