Orlando, United States: The 63rd PGA Merchandise Show, the industry’s self-proclaimed annual ‘Major of Golf Business’, successfully marked the kick-off to the PGA of America’s Centennial Celebration and welcomed more than 42,000 golf industry professionals from 91 countries around the world.
PGA Professionals and buyers uncovered the newest products, trends and technology from more than 1,000 exhibiting golf companies and brands, including 284 companies new to the event, creating the world’s largest business-to-business golf event within one million square feet of interactive exhibit, demonstration and meeting space of the Orange County Convention Centre West Concourse Exhibit Hall.
The 2016 PGA Merchandise Show attracted more than 7,000 PGA Professionals from around the world to drive a three per cent increase in overall attendance, despite the early-week Winter Storm Jonas impacting the East Coast of the United States.
The top five countries (outside of America) represented in attendance were Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico and Germany.
As the world’s largest gathering of PGA Professionals, the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show was a perfect occasion to kick off the 100-day PGA Centennial Celebration and commemorate the widespread impact of PGA Professionals on the game, the industry and grass-roots enjoyment and growth of golf.
The Centennial was celebrated with a special opening tee shot at the PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day and opening ceremony at the PGA Merchandise Show. Also, the Centennial was marked with a history exhibit in the lobby of the convention centre.
“This was truly a special PGA Merchandise Show, where the golf community was able to mark the Centennial of the PGA of America and celebrate the impact PGA Professionals have had on the game,” said Ed Several, PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions Senior Vice President and General Manager.
“As is the tradition of the PGA Merchandise Show, the world of golf came together in Orlando to drive forward the business of the game in a face-to-face environment.
“In addition to sourcing from a wide spectrum of the newest merchandise, attending PGA Professionals and golf buyers were able to personally experience the most advanced technologies in demo events, personal interaction with the game’s leaders and product designers, a sharing of best practices among colleagues and a full calendar of professional resources to impact their businesses and careers.”
The global golf gathering began last Tuesday with a special PGA of America Centennial Tee Shot to open the 14th Annual PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day.
On Wednesday, PGA of America Hall of Famer Lee Trevino was joined by his long-time mentor, instructor and friend, PGA Master Professional Bill Eschenbrenner, as they shined a spotlight on the century-long impact of PGA Professionals and helped open the PGA Merchandise Show.
Trevino was among a long list of celebrities, renowned golf instructors and specials guests, that included Lexi Thompson, Bubba Watson, Jesper Parnevik, Lydia Ko, Blair O’Neal, Ian Poulter, Greg Norman, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Troy Merritt, Annika Sorenstam, Johnny Miller, Hal Sutton, Justin Thomas, Nancy Lopez, David Leadbetter, Hank Haney, Michael Breed, Mike Malaska, Cameron McCormick, Jim McLean, Claude Harmon, Lynn Swann and Lou Holtz.
In addition to the busy marketplace among nearly 10 miles of exhibit aisles, PGA Show days were full of professional learning opportunities during industry presentations. The PGA Forum Stage, presented by Omega, was a popular destination on the PGA Show floor, with a compelling schedule of focused programming on emerging technology, employment initiatives, and instruction best practices, plus multiple presentations with celebrities and industry leaders.
Also, the comprehensive PGA Education Conference, PGA Youth & Family Golf Summit, Outdoor Instructional Workshops, the FIT to W.I.N. stage, sponsored by TPI, and the new Textile Sourcing Pavilion offered many educational programmes on a diverse spectrum of golf, retailing, fitness and business topics.
Attendees experienced a dynamic PGA Show floor, featuring PGA Centennial programmes, interactive exhibits, hundreds of vendor show specials and promotions; plus some 47 testing bays at the indoor Equipment Test Centre, a New Product Zone for a one-stop shopping of the newest golf merchandise; an Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion for patented products not yet available at retail; and numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions including a PGA Golf Travel Pavilion, PGA Partners Pavilion, Women’s Accessories Pavilion, New Exhibitor Discovery Zone, and several international exhibitor pavilions.
More than 1,000 media from 23 countries came to the PGA Merchandise Show to cover the newest golf products, trends, industry announcements and newsmakers of the game.
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