Edmonton’s PGA of Alberta Golf Show Gets an Unexpected Boost
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-03-13
By GORD MONTGOMERY, Inside Golf
EDMONTON, Alberta — Sometimes good things come in unexpected ways. That’s what happened to the PGA of Alberta’s annual Consumer Golf Show when its location was suddenly changed due to a booking error.
As it turned out however, the double-booking oversight at the Edmonton Expo Centre was for the better, at least for the hosts and very likely the show’s many exhibitors. And of course, the public who flocked to the event as the cold weather finally eased up.
Speaking to the upbeat tempo that seemed to surround this year’s two-day event, Robert Rousselle, the executive director of the provincial golf association, stated, “I think the floor plan was a big plus. We had more space, even in aisles, and it worked out really good in the Clearance Centre,” where bargain hunters had room to root through down-priced merchandise ranging from clubs to clothing, shoes to socks, and balls to bags.
“There was a lot of space for families coming in with (kids’) push-carts. Space-wise, it was definitely a big plus, a big help for us.”
As to using a different hall in the same venue and the affect that may have as the show moves forward, Rouselle said while it was a good change, the hosts also liked the old site, which was closer to the entrance to the massive building.
“We’d like to go back to our other hall … it’s a newer facility, newer services. But, we’ll have to wait until this show is past and look at every angle. At the end of the day we want to make sure the consumers are happy and it’s viable and feasible.”
Robert Rousselle, The Executive Director Of The PGA Of Alberta, Was Non-Committal As To Whether The Annual Golf Show Would Remain In The Larger Than Usual Hall Used This Year Due To A Booking Error. (Photo/PGA of Alberta)
While the public appeared happy to be wandering the new space looking at the new gear on the market, listening to guest speakers, playing challenge gams and seeking out unexplored vacation spots, the vendors providing those services also seemed to enjoy the larger exhibit area.
“At the moment, it’s been pretty positive,” Rousselle said of the exhibitors’ feedback to the site switch. “First, it’s a change and when you create a change it’s always a positive thing. They like it. I haven’t heard too many complaints from vendors. We’ll get a lot more feedback later. We’ll do some surveys, gather a bunch of information and then make the right decision for the future.”
Rousselle said while this year’s space was increased, the number of vendors on-site was essentially the same as last. One area there was an uptick was that there were more golf courses participating in the Clearance Centre.
“It’s equivalent, maybe plus one (for vendors). The circle part, was a big, big positive for the show. I think it gave big value to the customers.”
While the Edmonton show kicks things off for the PGA of Alberta each year, two weeks ahead of the larger Calgary show, there is a different feel to the two events. When asked if perhaps a deal for vendors may be put into place to up the exhibitor count at the smaller northern event, Rousselle had this to say: “I think it’s region-focused. In Edmonton we get mostly Edmonton clubs. We are getting more involved in the Clearance Centre and through that they see the value to the booth space. Calgary’s just a different market. We have fairly strong support from the clubs there. Yeah, it’s just a different market and different participation level.”
So while the Edmonton hall change was a positive this year, it’s hard to say where the show will end up next year. The one certainty is, it will be at the same time as always, in early March.
“I think we’re trying to build it,” said Rousselle about the show in Edmonton. “Calgary is normally sold out. Here in the past we’re normally sold out too. We changed halls so it brought us different challenges. We’ve turned it around and made it as positive as we can. It works. We covered really well the effects of having an oversized hall with a medium-sized show, and I hope the public really enjoyed it.”
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