Golf Course Management

APR 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 57 of 165

(GCM Staff) Back by demand Buoyed by a robust turnout for education and a jam-packed trade show foor, the 2014 Golf Industry Show made a triumphant return to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. If the buzz surrounding the 2014 GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show, Feb. 3-6 in Orlando, is any indication, the golf industry's journey along the road to recovery continues at a steady and sustainable pace. Attendees took to Twitter to call the conference and show "productive and successful," and lauded the events for "great networking, exposure and experience." Tweets complimented the "awesome education and trade show" and the "great networking and learning." Longtime GCSAA member Jerry Coldiron, CGCS Retired, said his trip to Orlando was, "my 35th golf show, and I would put this one in my top three." And the numbers back up those anecdotal rave reviews. Final statistics from this year's gathering of golf course superintendents, owners and opera - tors, architects and builders were on the rise across the board compared to the 2013 event in San Diego. Total attendance was 14,147, an 8 percent increase over last year. In addition, the two-day trade show, Feb. 5-6, attracted a total of 6,845 qualified buyers (up 14 percent from San Diego), who enjoyed 184,500 square feet of exhibit space and 561 exhibitors — increases of 7 and 9 percent, respectively, from 2013. In the classroom, GCSAA's education program only solidified its reputation as the indus - try's gold standard, with 5,192 education seats sold, an increase of 15 percent over 2013. "The feedback that I received during the week from attendees, exhibitors and allied asso - ciation colleagues was overwhelmingly positive, so it's gratifying that our final numbers back up those assessments," GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. "The changes that we have made to the Golf Industry Show in recent years were done with an eye on maximizing the experience and the investment for everyone involved, so we are pleased that the event continues to be embraced as enthusiastically as it has ever been." "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), which is a presenting partner of the Golf Indus - try Show. "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." The 2015 Golf Industry Show will head to San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 23-26, which will mark the event's first visit to the Alamo City since 1978. "The enthusiasm that we've heard for next year's visit to San Antonio makes (Orlando at - tendees') responses even more rewarding," Evans said. Annika featured in opening act If she would have had a glass in hand, you could have believed that one of the greatest pro- fessional golfers in history would have raised it and delivered a heartfelt toast to the audience. Annika Sorenstam — recipient of GCSAA's 2014 Old Tom Morris Award and featured guest at the Golf Industry Show Opening Session — let it be known that golf course superin - tendents deserve their share of accolades for what they accomplish on a daily basis. "You work so hard, so many hours, sometimes mowing in the dark, and very seldom get the credit you should," Sorenstam, a 10-time major champion and the only player in the LPGA to record a round of 59, said. "You have a passion. Thank you for what you do. It's very admirable." GIS highlights "The feedback that I received during the week from attendees, exhibitors and allied association colleagues was overwhelmingly positive, so it's gratifying that our final numbers back up those assessments." — Rhett Evans 56 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.14 056-067_GIS_Recap_14.indd 56 3/18/14 2:49 PM

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