Lawrence, Kansas, United States: The Golf Industry Show (GIS), the largest educational conference and trade show in the turfgrass management industry, transitioned to a virtual event in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While on a virtual platform, the 2021 event continued the GIS’s long tradition of connecting attendees, exhibitors and industry experts through a progressive week of unparalleled education opportunities and access to golf facility solutions for those in the golf industry.
Attendance for the virtual GIS was strong with more than 9,300 attendees from around the world during the live event. The event also provides attendees with up to 30 days of on-demand access, so final attendance and education numbers will not be known until the conclusion of the on-demand portion on March 6.
The education component of the event featured 88 sessions, with preliminary numbers for those presentations at 9,197 participants total.
More than 200 exhibitors are part of the trade show, and so far, have recorded 213,299 in total booth visits. The 24-hour-a-day virtual trade show will be open through March 6 as well.
“Like so many organisations this year, a virtual show was unchartered territory for us, and frankly it was difficult to project how our traditional attendance would translate to the virtual world, so we are extremely pleased with the very enthusiastic response,” said Rhett Evans, Chief Executive Officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
“I was particularly excited to see that many facilities that took advantage of our All-Access package for everyone on the team. It really shows the desire for education for every member of the facility, and we hope our curriculum helps enhance their careers and facilities,” added Evans.
The GIS is produced by the GCSAA along with its presenting partners the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) and American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA).
Next year, the 2022 Golf Industry Show is scheduled to be an in-person event in San Diego from February 5-10, 2022, at the San Diego Convention Centre.
In other news from last week’s Golf Industry Show:
- A team from Purdue University won the annual GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition, which was presented in partnership with John Deere Golf. It was the Boilermakers’ first win since 2009.
- Jim Nantz, three-time Emmy winner and lead anchor of CBS Sports’ golf team, received GCSAA’s 2021 Old Tom Morris award. He joined the GIS live from his home in California during the Opening Session, which was presented in partnership with Syngenta.
- The General Session: Managing the Challenges of Disruptive Change, which was sponsored in partnership with Bayer, featured Evans, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan, USGA CEO Mike Davis and PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh in a live discussion of golf’s reaction to the pandemic and how the golf industry is moving forward.
- On February 4, the key players of the PGA Frisco gathered virtually for a live discussion on the project during the General Session: Behind the Scenes at PGA Frisco, which was presented in partnership with The Toro Company.