This year I am attending for the very first time the vastly popular PGA merchandise show in sunny Florida. I must say that of all the many trade shows I have attended over the years, that this one takes the cake!
Well, let’s just start with the sheer size of the thing…..massive. It is not the kind of event you just dip in and out of like window shopping at the local mall. You become immersed in a seemingly endless sea of all the newest, cutting edge equipment and clothing lines that the global golf market has to offer. Everything from belts to balls. I was just amazed at the selection. I probably spent an hour of day one just talking to different vendors about the different options available in synthetic turf. There is nothing you can’t find here, and in abundance.
It is also a great place to meet a celebrities. Naturally there were golf stars like Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love and Butch Harmon. I saw other sports stars such as Ken Griffy Jr. and Jonny Damon. Not to mention the one and only George Thoughrogood playing live music. It has a little bit of that red carpet feeling for sure.
An interesting theme that seems to be growing in the golf industry is one of technology. Upon my arrival to the media room, I was given a badge for access not unlike most any other seminar or conference. The difference in this tag was the QR bar code that was printed on each one of them. Using my smart phone, I was able to scan the QR code which led me straight to the download page for the PGA 2012 app. This app allowed me to see every vender’s location on the showroom floor. This made for ease of travel when going by the multitudes of guests and vendors alike. I can also get the email addresses, phone numbers, and any special promotions each company has to offer all from my phone. Kudos to the PGA for their forward thinking.
The main reason for my visit here is to see the new trends in the golf industry. This is the place to get new ideas and exchange dialogue with fellow industry comrades. I ran into many local golf professionals of which I have worked with over the years. The importance of this event is reflected by the thousands of pros who attend this event annually. The PGA Show sets it’s guests up for a successful 2012. I am glad that I have attended this invaluable resource and look forward to day #2 of discovering all the innovations this industry has to offer.