Bullish

Bullish

Pat Jones describes how GIS has changed and what that means for the event’s future.

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February 7, 2019
Pat Jones
Many times, in the past, I’d use this space to talk about whether the big, big show was busy or slow. I’d examine the causes and take our host association to task. I’d shake my fist (metaphorically) and call for change!
 
But, frankly, I don’t care about crap like that anymore. The show is what it is. It’s not a selling show where suppliers are trying to book business (though a few do). It’s a networking show. In a relationship-driven market, time spent bonding with customers is valuable. Valuable enough to spend a fortune tobe here, and we usually close a significant amount of advertising business, so it’s all good by me. 
 
It was interesting to learn that the NGCOA is dropping out of the Golf Industry Show partnership. I’m not shocked they’re doing it. I’m sure the owners want their own event and autonomy back just like CMAA a few years ago. But what was really interesting was that nobody cared. I hadn’t heard anything about it, and when I asked a few supplier friends about it, they just sort of shrugged. Meh. 
 
I’m frankly bullish about the quality of this event, but I’m absolutely certain it will continue to shrink (with or without NGCOA). Does anyone believe that thousands more supers will flock back to the show and exhibit sales will grow again like they did in the 1990s? Uh, I sure don’t. 
 
But I do think that a smaller, higher quality event would be fine for most of us who serve this industry commercially.  
 
It’s a well-managed event and a target-rich environment for a professional schmoozer like me. It’s so rewarding to be here, and I learn so much. And my cup runneth over with the joy of seeing good friend … and taking selfies with them.
 
Pat Jones is GCI’s editorial director.