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2012 NGCOA Annual Conference & Golf Industry Show a Success!

Vegas!Highlights from the Annual Conference and Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas, Nevada 

CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 8, 2012) – The 2012 NGCOA Conference opened on Monday, February 27 with A Day at the Golf Facility: A Best Practices Tour, where hands-on, educational activities offered participants a chance to explore the host facility, Angel Park Golf Club, and reinforced a single, recurring Conference theme: customers are the key to success.

“If you want your customers to spend money, you need to offer them something unique and different,” Becky Wilkins, owner of Retail Management Associates, a buying and consulting company, told attendees who opted for the learning experience (rather than the golf outing) on the first day of the conference.

“Customers have held back in the last couple of years because of the economy, but they’re beginning to look for new and different.”

Continuing with the theme, Don Peppers (a founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group), delivered the Conference’s keynote address on Monday night where he urged attendees to embrace technology-supported customer-centric marketing strategies.

Peppers stressed that technology offers businesses a “new dimension” when it comes to engaging customers and competing for their time and money. But the internationally respected management consultant also considers a handwritten note one of the most effective ways of gaining customers’ trust.

James Chung, President of Reach Advisors, opened the second day of the Conference, A Day in the Classrooms, with “Fundamental Shifts in Leisure Time: The Convergence of How Americans Live, Play, and Travel,” a general session focused on the ever-evolving consumer landscape. Following Chung’s presentation, attendees participated in educational sessions covering a wide range of important topics such as property taxes, social networking/mobile media, tee time distribution and fun golf programming.

Conference attendee, Bill O’Brien of Maderas Golf Club in Poway, Calif., took advantage of all the education, soaking up as much information as possible.  “I thought the content and speakers were entirely relevant, rich, entertaining and engaging.  I took 3 days worth of notes and have already shared them with my team.”

The leap day brought with it the third day of the NGCOA Annual Conference, A Day at the Golf Industry Show. Dan Danner, President & CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, kicked off the day by sharing insights on the state of small businesses in the troubled economy with the his general session, “Hot Issues Impacting You and Your Business.”

Attendees then ventured to the Golf Industry Show to attend educational sessions (Tech Tips on the Half and Answers on the Hour) - showcasing solutions in technology, agronomics, golf facility valuation, merchandising and more - and explore the various products and services offered by the 540 exhibitors on the Show floor.

On Wednesday night, Conference attendees gathered for the NGCOA Celebration Dinner where Scott Lake Country Club was announced as the NGCOA’s 2012 Course of the Year. The course is an unassuming but solid layout that’s best known for its affordable golf and friendly attitude. The course advertises itself as a place “where golf is fun.” “We give our customers an affordable place to play, enjoy each other’s company and maybe create a memory,” said co-owner Jeff Hoag, who was also the recipient of the Don Rossi Award for significant and long-lasting contributions to the NGCOA.

The next day, Thursday, March 2, saw the return of the Golf Industry Show and a keynote address from the lively golf commentator and TV show host, David Feherty. The Golf Channel funnyman delivered an experience like no other, with stories that evoked both laughter and tears from the attendees.

The Conference wrapped up on Friday with two educational sessions, “Recognition of a Classic: The Restoration of Pinehurst No. 2” presented by the GCSAA and “Improving Your Golf Course Management Odds” offered by the USGA.

Next year’s NGCOA Annual Conference and Golf Industry Show will be held in San Diego, California, February 4-8, 2013.

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