Monday, March 19, 2012

Golf Industry Show 2012 Wrap-Up

I was fortunate enough to join Matt Burton (Little Bennett GC Superintendent) and about 15,000 of our closest turf industry colleagues from around the world at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Education Conference and Golf Industry Show recently, and wanted to share some of my experience at this superb educational event.

This year’s show was held in Las Vegas, NV at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  One of the biggest reactions I get when I mention to people that I went to Vegas for a conference, is “oh, I’m sure you got a lot of THAT trip!”  Well, actually, YES!  Superintendents and other golf course industry professionals (including educators, researchers, vendors, architects, builders, equipment managers, and turf students) take these educational opportunities very seriously.  So amidst all the distractions that Vegas has to offer (yes, the evenings were fun!), attendance was very high at the 105 educational seminars as well as 63 other free sessions that were offered throughout the week.  In fact numerous free sessions were standing room only.

Presented by GCSAA and the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), the Golf Industry Show is an innovative trade show that features unparalleled networking opportunities and hands-on access to golf course and facility management solutions for professional members of the golf industry.  Participating partners of the Golf Industry Show are the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), the United States Golf Association (USGA), the National Golf Foundation (NGF), the International Golf Course Equipment Managers Association (IGCEMA), and supporting partner the Society of Golf Appraisers (SGA).

The GCSAA Education Conference, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show, is the largest educational conference in the golf course management industry.  The entire week was packed with information that offers an immediate return to our facilities: new ideas, new research about how to use our resources most effectively, meeting new people and discussing similar challenges we face in different parts of the world… the list goes on!

Three days were focused on educational sessions from some of the brightest minds in the industry.  Experts, university professors, USGA agronomists, and superintendents who have “done it all” brought hundreds of hours of very useful information on such topics as environmental sustainability, turf technology and gadgets, managing turfgrass pests such as insects, disease, and weeds in new ways, tree and ornamental plant management, pace of play, irrigation technology, the golf economy, media/public relations, and a host of other important topics.  You can see there is a wide range of learning opportunity here, and each attendee can customize their experience to meet their needs. 

Two days were devoted to an incredible trade show, which represented the full spectrum of golf facility management and golf business.  There were 540 exhibitors and 177, 300 square feet (over 4 acres!) of exhibition space that were able to reach attendees on every side of the golf operation, from ownership, design, construction, and operations.  
You’d be hard-pressed to find another industry where so many thousands of people are working together (not in competition with one another) in such a professional manner to solve day-to-day challenges we all face in providing the best product we can in a highly responsible manner!  
In closing, here are some fun highlights from the keynote speaker at the GIS general session, David Feherty, who talks a little bit about his time in the U.S. and some of his interesting golf experiences!

No comments: