Can somebody do something to liven up golf course industry trade shows? This industry is in need of a trade show remake. I feel bad for the poor souls staffing the booths. Lined up in a row and jammed together, they try to make eye contact with individuals like me who have no interest in sewage sludge fertilizer. I’m looking for golf course construction clients, not the latest soil amendments.
The GCSAA and other supporting organizations do a great job displaying all the latest equipment and technology. It’s a fine platform for a superintendent, but it doesn’t address all the needs of golf course construction professionals. It’s too big and it’s making all the decision makers uncomfortable.
We need a separate, dedicated golf course construction industry trade show. Put it in a warm, sunny place. Schedule it when a PGA Tour event is in town. Upscale it and keep it small to attract the developers, owners, and financiers who still have an interest in renovating or building new golf courses. Invite the architects, heavy equipment dealers, bankers, consultants and decision makers. Don’t line them up in a corn-row, create small, comfortable chat rooms or outdoor spaces like the clubhouse oak at Augusta to allow clients and builders to mingle. Put a little sizzle in the proceedings. Hire a few professional speakers to enliven the vibe. Use social media to enthuse younger buyers.
Other industries use trade shows to close important deals. Many consider trade show attendance a critical component to their yearly business. Event planning is too complicated for well-intentioned committees who repeat a tired formula year after year. It’s time to rethink the golf course industry trade show by hiring an innovative event planner with contemporary trade show skills.