Each year around the beginning of February, thousands of Golf Industry Professionals migrate to the Golf Industry Show (GIS) or “The Show” as we affectionately refer to it. GIS provides opportunities for education, networking and engaging with vendors who supply the industry with the necessary tools needed for these professionals to do their job. According to the GCSAA, this year’s show saw attendance reach 13,600, a number that has not been seen since the days before the recession in the late 2000’s.
The attendance numbers may not be what they were during the golf boom and the show floor may be a little smaller than in years past, but attendance numbers are a sign that the industry is still very healthy. Many of today’s attendees are taking time out of their schedule to make the journey to attend GIS where labor and budget dynamics challenge them on a daily basis. They are taking advantage of the opportunity to better themselves through an array of educational seminars that are offered, share knowledge from past experiences with their peers and check out the latest and greatest from manufacturers. Speaking of latest and greatest, FMC took advantage of GIS to introduce its newest innovation in the battle against Sedge and Kyllinga. Dismiss® NXT will be available later this year, providing end users with a new, innovative solution to post emerge weed control.
I have been fortunate enough to be a part of this industry in various aspects over the last 18 years. To this day, one thing that still impresses me the most and what makes this industry so unique, is the willingness of superintendents to help each other out. The 2-day trade show is not only a chance for exhibitors to show off their best in elaborate booths, but it also provides a forum where ideas can be freely exchanged. In times where labor, water and budget constraints stare the superintendent in the face on a daily basis and where courses are in stiff competition for the golfer’s dollar, superintendents today are sharing information as freely as I can ever remember. During the trade show, I witnessed several examples of superintendents swapping tales of what worked for them this past season, what didn’t go so well or what they are going to implement into their agronomic plans for 2017.
As much as things change with our industry, I hope the ability to freely share information remains the same. We at FMC, as a manufacturer strive to provide customers with innovative tools to master their craft, but the two most effective tools will always be knowledge and experience. Whether it’s through Twitter, a quick phone call or text, course visits, local association meetings or conversation on a trade show floor, I hope superintendents continue to freely share their experiences with each other. It’s what makes our industry truly special and different from any other.