PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Aug. 12, 2021) – The newly formatted PGA Show Buying & Education Summit, Aug. 9-10, 2021 in Las Vegas, hosted influential PGA Professionals and golf buyers who met in person with a curated group of top apparel, accessory and golf lifestyle companies in the upscale resort setting of the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa.
Organized in partnership with the PGA of America, the Summit featured fashion and accessory line showings, PGA and AGM education workshops, a PGA of America Town Hall, Southwest PGA Section events, networking receptions and an event-ending golf outing on Wednesday, Aug. 11.
“The new format of the PGA Show Buying & Education Summit has been a welcome return to in-person meetings with suppliers, educators and industry peers,” said PGA President Jim Richerson. “Designed to be a smaller-scale regional event, the Summit delivered on important new business opportunities, and I personally enjoyed meeting with vendors and PGA Members in Las Vegas.”
“We are pleased with the positive response to the new event format, a beautiful resort setting and the valuable new business that was generated at the first PGA Show Buying & Education Summit,” said PGA Golf Exhibitions Vice President Marc Simon. “Buyers and exhibitors alike shared that it was energizing to return to face-to-face meetings and many new business relationships were formed at the event.”
Top apparel, accessory and golf lifestyle companies met with invited buyers and PGA Professionals in scheduled meetings of the private One2One event and during open exhibitor line showings. Event attendees participated in multiple networking events, including nightly receptions and an event-closing industry golf scramble outing at TPC Las Vegas. The PGA of America hosted a PGA Town Hall with PGA President Jim Richerson and PGA Secretary Don Rea, and the Southwest PGA Section also offered multiple section programs during the Summit.
The PGA of America and the Association of Golf Merchandisers presented seven education workshops covering executive management, teaching & coaching and golf retail. Five of the Summit workshops will be available on-demand at Virtual.PGAShow.com, beginning Aug. 18 at 12 p.m. ET. The online PGA Show Marketplace will feature the virtual showrooms of PGA Show Education & Buying Summit exhibitors, many of which have digital catalogs with e-commerce functionality, powered by RepSpark.
Exhibitors and attendees alike provided positive feedback on the event.
Corey Fisk, FootJoy’s Director of Sales for the Western US, was grateful to show customers the new line, up close and personal, while continuing to build those relationships. “Being able to engage with customers is huge. Everyone has missed that aspect: the personal touch,” he said. “Nothing beats meeting face to face.”
Steve Pirring, East Coast Sales Manager for Linksoul shared, “The new PGA Vegas event was fantastic. We built new relationships and rekindled old ones, plus the format and the venue were excellent.”
“In our business in particular, it’s important to get back to seeing people in person,” said Mike Elliott, President of Golf for Greg Norman Collection. “We feel most people are ready to get back to some sense of normalcy.”
“I think we knew going into the show that there was some uncertainty around it, but we definitely think it was worth the time and investment to attend,” says Jeremy Gerson, Vice President of Sports Marketing Perry Ellis International. “We felt buyers and sales reps were eager to meet again in a safe and controlled atmosphere.”
“I think it’s critical to get back to some semblance of normal here at the Summit, even with factors still being there with COVID,” says Derek Gutierrez, PGA Director of Golf/GM at Twin Warriors and Santa Ana Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, and a member of the PGA Board of Directors. “Apparel sales are rebounding, and accessories sales have skyrocketed – eyewear, belts, handbags, skin products, anything that can be considered an impulse item, as people are buying anything they can get their hands on.”
“It’s great being in person again. The visual is really important,” says Mary Ann Glidden, Merchandise Manager at Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs, California. “Whatever we had left over sold, so now everyone is buying again. New people are playing golf and want apparel and all the accessories to go with it. I’m always looking for something new and different.”
"It feels great to be back in person,” said Patrick Casey, AGM President and PGA Assistant General Manager at Brentwood Country Club in Los Angeles. “The event is spread out nicely. Everything is well-presented, and the quality of vendors, displays and supporting materials are great. They came prepared."
“The past year and a half have been challenging and impactful to everyone,” said Bryan Nicholson, PGA Director of Golf at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash. “The ability to reengage in-person with our peers, industry representatives, and vendor partners is a positive step. Our entire industry benefits when we learn from each other, and it’s important for us to be together. A lot of business and idea generation is accelerated in person, and you can’t program the unexpected over a Zoom call. Further, the Summit emphasized the importance of safety as a top priority for all attendees, and the protocols that were implemented made everyone feel at ease.”
PGA Golf Exhibitions and the PGA of America implemented health and safety standards based on current CDC guidelines, local public health guidance and JW Marriott Las Vegas protocols to help support a safe and comfortable experience.
The golf industry will reunite at the 69th PGA Show, Jan. 25-28 in Orlando. Learn more at PGAShow.com.
About PGA Golf Exhibitions
The PGA Show, PGA Buying & Education Summit and PGA Show Connects are organized in partnership by PGA Golf Exhibitions and the PGA of America. The PGA Show has been the largest annual global business gathering for the business of golf for more than 65 years. Regional PGA Show Buying & Education Summits and the PGA Show Connects digital platform connect the industry year-round and drive business leading up to the annual PGA Show. Learn more at PGAShow.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
About the PGA of AmericaThe PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of nearly 28,000 PGA Professionals who work daily to grow interest and inclusion in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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