The PGA Merchandise Show takes place each year between the third Wednesday and Friday in January, however a demonstration day where professionals can test new equipment occur the day before the exhibition opens on Tuesday.
The show is a perennial cornucopia of golf industry innovation. Each year 5000 thousand exhibitors and over 20,000 attendees descend upon the convention. Consistently overwhelming and little bit chaotic, the trade show is the perfect place to see all the new technology and products the golf industry has to offer.
Golf course operators also get the opportunity to network with a variety of suppliers, innovators, and thought leaders. All while getting an opportunity get their hands on new golf gear, apparel, and of course a few useless inventions (think toilet golf, or the UroClub).
With such a massive event coming and going each year, it's easy for operators to get overwhelmed. That's why we put together this handy guide to help you get the most out of the show!
The convention is held at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida. You may register here to be an attendee of the show. There are many hotels near the area since the convention centre plays host to many conferences and is located close to Disney World and Universal Studios.
The PGA Merchandise Show is a sensory overload, it is the place to go if you want to see what's new and exciting in the golf industry. With over 1000 booths and over 5000 attendees, you can expect to find anything you want or any person you want in the industry.
Compare products and find new categories to introduce to your pro shop floor, attend education sessions with respected keynote speakers, and network with industry professionals. Make sure to take your time to walk the 2,000,000 square foot floor and take in the sights and sounds.
On our side, we will be hosting guest speaker sessions live from the floor of The Orange County Convention Centre at our expanded booth #3117. Learn more about the sessions here! It'll happen only once during the show so don't miss it!
Every year the big names go all out with elaborate and eye-catching exhibitions. Don't miss incredible interactive displays from industry staples like Titleist, Taylormade, COBRA PUMA, and TopGolf. As always, I recommend checking out the novelty club car section, where you can see imaginative carts that defy the standard white buggy.
What PGA Merchandise Show isn't complete without a selection of silly novelty items in the new products section. Who knows, maybe you'll find the perfect gift item to display in your pro shop.
Finally, don't miss the buzzing Golf Channel booth where you can see your favourite anchors in person and rub shoulders with well known figures in the golf industry.
Trade shows are fun but they involve some hard work. You attend them because you are a professional so you should have some goals in mind before you show up. If you are making purchase decisions, make a list of vendors you need to meet. If you are looking at a new software system, book a demo with a product representative. Or, make a list of influencers you would like to meet to bring more attention to your operation.
Of course, it always helps if you can leave your bulky purchase order binder at home and use a cloud based iPad POS that can automatically create purchase orders, track inventory, and provide inventory analytics instantaneously. Make sure your analysis prior to the show is thorough and complete, it will help to know product category performance, margins, and inventory levels before walking into a vendor meeting.
The best thing about attending the PGA Merchandise Show is the learning opportunities. Over the course of the event, many seminars will be held. Get valuable insights from well respected keynote speakers from the golf industry. Chances are you'll hear something you haven't heard before and you might meet someone new.
Last year I recommended checking out Tee Sheet Management 101 with Don Rea and Mike Loustalot. These two seasoned veterans know the industry very well and have put together a lot of research on analyzing data and executing in a golf operation. Don Rea is the owner of Augusta Ranch Golf Club. Mark Loustalot is the founder of The ORCA Report, a data analysis and advisory firm that specializes in montoring golf course data and providing actionable insights.
Chronogolf also hosted its own mini-conference live from its own booth (Booth #3117). We invite any operators who are attending the show to come and learn about modern marketing, retail, E-Commerce, customer loyalty, and automation strategies.
In 2017, Chronogolf organized and hosted the #FutureGolfOps conference, where key note speakers discussed the future of the golf industry. Famous speakers were present like Matt Welliver, Scott Merchant, Jim Koppenhaver, Jason Wilson and Stuart C. Lindsay. The room was full and a lot of subjects (Getting the most out of your data, Maximizing your mobile experience, Best practices with internet tee times and marketing, and Choosing a club management solution for your future) were discussed that day. Watch the full video of the conference below!
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