GIS Orlando 2011
The Golf Industry Show and Education Conference was held in Orlando, FL this past week. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday were filled with multiple days of great classroom discussions being taught by a variety of turf professionals. While many of us have turfgrass articles and research available to us through various magazines and internet websites, these classes took you back to the college days and allowed someone to listen to some turfgrass legends such as Dr. John Kaminski and Dr. Nick Christians. Topics of interest ranged from the detailed science of plant-soil interactions to social media and what it is doing for the industry. The seminars provide new information on research from university professors, as well as, detailed information that we have forgotten a little about since the college classroom.
On Wednesday and Thursday the trade show floor was open for a total of sixteen hours, and we were able to enjoy the meetings with friends that we do not see very often, or the nice meeting of someone new. These contacts allow us a vast network to rely on when that random turf question might arise. It allows us that avenue to discuss turfgrass topics that only turf professionals would understand. Many items were available for show-and-tell ranging from items that have been in the industry for many years to the new, innovative products that just might give a turf professional the next edge. We saw the trade show floor much smaller in size, but provided us with the confidence to walk the floor in its entirety. Although a smaller trade show floor, I felt it was a huge success. I think people will leave Orlando feeling energized and productive as they get back to work on Monday. For some, we still have 6 feet of snow on the ground. It will allow some time to evaluate what we took away from the show and how we are going to implement it at our club. For others, Monday morning will resume business, as some guys were getting ready to aerate, continue major tree work, and work on bunker restorations. The Golf Industry Show helps refresh all of us entering the new season.
As the new season begins, we must evaluate what we need to change to make the overall product better. Some of these changes will take place with vendors and manufacturers and choosing a new distributor. These companies try to make sure this does not happen by providing receptions and networking parties each night in Orlando. These are some of the most valuable meetings of the entire trip, as it allows us to truly network and meet many new people. It is very enjoyable as we are also able to discuss what others are finding with the use of certain machines or products. It really portrays how much a brotherhood the GCSAA really is. It is one of the only industries I can think of that we are competitors, but if needed we will provide assistance with equipment, product, labor, or just advice whenever.
If you are interested in some articles or video recap of this conference please visit http://www.golfcourseindustry.com.
Hopefully our snow will melt soon enough, and we can begin cleaning and restoring conditions. See you on the course!
-Jason VanBuskirk, Superintendent