The Pellucid Perspective - January 2014 - (Page 10)

GOLF TRADE SHOWS Orlando - Golf Central USA By Jim Dunlap T here will be plenty of parking spots available in golf-centric corporate headquarter centers like Carlsbad, Calif., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Fairhaven, Mass. next week as the golf industry heads for Orlando for the first of three major industry trade shows and their accompanying round of annual meetings. Anyone desperately needing a lesson from their PGA professional or some face time with their golf course supplier may want to pack up the family and head for the home of Mickey, Goofy and Epcot Center, as Orlando hosts, in order in the next month, the PGA Merchandise Show, the Golf Industry Show (G.I.S.) and the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA)World Conference and Club Business Expo. As most people in the industry know by now, this confluence of the golf world, US-style, occurs every three years when the G.I.S. and CMAA shows join the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. This year, one of the prevailing themes is condensation of time for the trade show portions of several of the shows, as well as rescheduling to accommodate attendees in the warm weather climes who may need to be back at the course on the weekend. The PGA show, for instance, runs its trade show activities this year Wednesday-Friday ( Jan. 22-24) with Demo Day on the 21st, while the G.I.S. limits its trade show to Wednesday-Thursday (Feb. 5-6) with participating industry association meetings and activities preceding that. The trade show portion of the CMAA gathering is Feb. 8-9 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. "The old Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule was sort of a legacy to the old days when the airlines required a Saturday overnight stay for their best rates," said Ed Several, PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions Senior Vice President and GM. "We surveyed our attendees and exhibitors last year on changing to the weekday schedule, and over 90 percent of them voted 'Yes.' We made the change this year, and we've had no pushback on it." National Golf Course Owners Association Deputy CEO Mike Tinkey noted that while the G.I.S. trade show schedule is still two days, there will be plenty going on before and during the show. "There's probably more happening in a shorter period of time than ever before," Tinkey said. Included among those activities are what Tinkey said has been a very popular "Best Practices Tour" of a local golf facility, which will be the Rosen Shingle Creek course this year, introduction of the Project Course Rescue program, and recognition of golf icon Jack Nicklaus as a lifetime achievement recipient. Both the PGA Show and the G.I.S. are reporting increased pre-registration attendance figures over last year's shows. Several said the PGA professional pre-registration was up over 10 percent as of early January, while Tinkey said G.I.S. pre-reg- 10 The Pellucid Perspective istration is up over last year and also up from the previous trip to Orlando. (The CMAA does not release attendance figures, either pre or post-show). As some folks with only marginal connection to the industry have probably discovered, the PGA Show has tightened up admission requirements. Several said that pros will have to produce a PGA member number and prospective buyers will have to show an invoice or other evidence of their status to gain admittance. "We've really tightened it up," Several said. "A lot of our PGA pros and exhibitors said it was destructive to their efforts to have consumers at the show, and we heard them. We're up over 10 percent on PGA professional registration, but we also didn't want to preclude the public from having a "window" into the show, so we've expanded TV coverage with 12 hours of live broadcasting on The Golf Channel." Interestingly enough, perhaps because the PGA Show does not admit members of the public, the show ranks only #49 among U.S. trade shows in a ranking produced by Trade Show Executive magazine. For those in the golf industry who have not attended any of the larger 48, but have spent long hours and much shoe leather traversing the jam-packed Orange County Convention Center floor, that is likely surprising. Some of the changes that PGA Show attendees will discover this year are an expanded Fitness Area and the Fit to Win Pavilion, with an extra 2,000 square feet this year and, for the first time, a dedicated Wellness component. Additionally, for the first time, there will be a Technology Pavilion highlighting the latest in POS systems, tee time marketing solutions, labor and cost management software, social media and instruction technology. The NGCOA has announced plans to form a task force to study the possibility of developing an owner-centric online tee time marketing system to compete with barterbased systems including you-know-who, and Tinkey indicated that the issues involved in tee time marketing, POS tracking and other technology will also be addressed at the G.I.S., both in NGCOA meetings and on the show floor. Organizers of both the PGA and G.I.S. shows reported a certain degree of optimism that the industry's recent troubles are behind it, at least for now, and that positive attitude is reflected in slightly increased attendance projections. As Tinkey said, "It appears that we've stabilized, and will probably see a little growth." Whether visitors are attending the Orange County Convention Center for the PGA and G.I.S. shows, or journeying to the World Center Marriott for the CMAA Expo, Orlando is clearly the hub of the golfing universe for the next few weeks. n January 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - January 2014

2013: Farewell vs. good riddance – Industry bends but doesn't break
GolfNow's PMP sales pitch: Join or be stolen from
College Golf Pass aims to close golf's participation "doughnut hole"
Gender-based golf promotions carry risk
Orlando – Golf Central USA
December golf weather impact: Significant down month closes year of downs
Development restraint buoys Miami golf market
GreatLife expands business model into 3rd state
The PGA Show – just like a box of chocolates

The Pellucid Perspective - January 2014