Judging by the results of the current GNN Poll, the majority of us believe that golf industry shows are dying, not that it’s a surprise. What is a surprise is so many of us are now willing to admit it publicly, which means we can finally discuss what to do about it in a public forum such as GNN.
With the Ontario show now cancelled and the Canadian Golf Industry Association declaring it will not take part in British Columbia, the show landscape has changed considerably and don’t be surprised if there are more changes to come after all the controversy that has surrounded the shows for years.
Poor attendance at many shows and questionable return on investment for exhibitors has had this issue bubbling for years and now it’s boiling over in Canada. Are trade shows, in general, a thing of the past, can they be revived, or re-invented?
One of the more interesting concepts was brought up by GNN blogger Kyle German in his latest blog now on the GNN home page. Don’t tell Kyle I said that because we have to keep him humble, but the idea, in a nutshell, is to include all components of a golf operation into the shows. It’s an idea that has been discussed frequently in the past.
The presence of owners, superintendents and food and beverage people, to go along with pros and pro shop buyers, may draw a whole new group of exhibitors looking to grab the industry’s attention with televisions and furniture for clubhouses, supplies and products for kitchens/bars to go along with traditional fare.
As Kyle says, he’s floating a trial balloon for discussion, but I think it’s worth discussing in order to establish the pros (pardon the pun) and cons of an idea. Here are some questions to consider:
- Would such shows be national, regional (east/west) or provincial/zone?
- Would all associations that have members attend (owners/superintendents/golf professionals, etc.) benefit financially from such shows?
- If it’s a national show or east/west, how would revenue-sharing be handled among the various zones?
- Should there be a public component to such shows to give exhibitors a better return on investment?
- With such diversity among show stakeholders, who would actually manage the event(s).
- What is the best time of year to hold such a show?
- Could the pricing be structured to offer exhibitors reasonable return on investment and produce enough revenue for everybody?
Those are just a few questions to ask and I’m sure there are plenty more, so let’s start the discussion as Paul Kraus and Don MacKay, president of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada and friendly proprietor of Muskoka Highlands in Bracebridge, Ont., did in the Comments box below Kyle’s Blog.
MacKay believes Kyle is going in the right direction with this concept, but just don’t tell Kyle. Remember, we have to keep him humble.
It’s your turn now to offer your thoughts.