The 2010 Atlantic PGA Buying Show had renewed enthusiasm throughout the great hall of Hotel Beusejour in Moncton recently.
For the first time the Atlantic Show was in a pipe and drape open floor concept vs. the traditional hotel room style, something that has been talked about for the last 18 years that I have been in the association.
For many of you who may not have experienced a hotel buying show, the Canadian PGA Atlantic Zone would book off a floor and the beds were moved out of the room. The manufactures and distributors would then set up in these standard hotel rooms.
This format provided benefits to both the Canadian PGA zone and the manufacturers, who could literally book the number of rooms that they needed, with the zone having very little risk in holding the space.
The format for the pros/buyers to do our buying was only okay. For example, viewing soft goods in this format wasn’t the best. Lighting was extremely poor and some representatives had appropriate set ups to put product on display, while others only had racks to sift through.
The open floor concept gave us a much better opportunity to purchase efficiently. We viewed product lines in proper lighting, giving the manufacturers the opportunity to show case their products effectively.
There was a great buzz around the show and even veterans such as Mr. Jim Connolly expressed that it was the CPGA Atlantic’s “best show ever” and I have to concur.
As an active buyer at the show for many years, I have to say that the show was much busier and better attended by the members of the Atlantic Zone, due I’m sure to a more central location in Moncton and the change in format.
This doesn’t mean that the show is foolproof, or without room for improvement.
There were move-in and exit issues for the manufacturers as it was not easy to access the second floor of the hotel, especially with larger items such as Club Car or Yamaha vehicles. It felt slightly crowded in some areas as well.
The Atlantic Zone chair for the merchandise show, Mr. Jim Ogilvie (general manager and executive professional at Brightwood Golf and Country Club) will likely be out scouting new sites for 2011 in the same format.
Hats off to Mr. Ogilvie and Phil Canning, our executive director, for their hard work putting this all together and the executive of the CPGA Atlantic for pushing this through.
I just hope that we make sure that this works for both the pros to buy, but also that it remains feasible for our manufacturers to continue supporting this event. I look forward to working on my buy like this again next year.