New for this year’s show
Networking Parks—Three areas on the show floor will feature sights and sounds unique to the cities in the GIS rotation (New Orleans, Orlando and San Diego), Attendees can arrange to meet others in these parks or just use them for some rejuvenation before returning to the aisles. Each park will include an Internet kiosk and concession stands.
People Mover—Running the side and back perimeters of the show floor, the People Mover will allow attendees to get a grand circle tour and also navigate from one end to another with greater ease.
Hydration Stations—To reduce plastic waste and shrink the show’s “carbon footprint,” attendees will be encouraged to visit one of these stations on the show floor, to pick up and then refill reusable water bottles which can then be kept as a show souvenir.
As the Golf Industry Show makes good on its promise to return to post-Katrina New Orleans, there will be plenty of pressing topics to discuss, and potentially helpful products to consider.
What a difference three years makes.
The second annual Golf Industry Show (GIS) was all set to be held in New Orleans in early 2006, with the industry in full recovery mode from a 9/11-induced slump.
Then, disaster hit the Big Easy six months before the show dates, in the form of Hurricane Katrina. GIS organizers scrambled to relocate the show, which eventually found a home in Atlanta. But they vowed they would help New Orleans with its recovery, by giving the city another chance to serve as host as soon as it was ready again.
This February, the GIS will deliver on that promise by bringing the event, which includes the conferences of several sponsoring organizations around a major trade show (see dates above), back to New Orleans. Those who go will discover that the Crescent City, while still clearly showing the lingering effects of Katrina’s blows, has made remarkable strides towards restoring its unique energy and spirit. And with the golf and club industries now facing their own new set of challenges after the financial storms of late 2008, the city is in position to return the favor; there may, in fact, be no better setting for this year’s show, as attendees could use a shot of New Orleans-style inspiration to go along with the usual opportunities for networking, education and consideration of the latest new products and services that will be on display.
Another touch of irony related to the show’s return to New Orleans is drawn from how the subjects of water use and management have gained such increased importance in the three years since GIS was originally scheduled to come to the city. That renewed emphasis will be reflected in one of this year’s show highlights: construction of a fairway and water feature on the show floor, as part of an area where attendees will be able to learn how common golf course attributes can be enhanced aesthetically, and also made more efficient, through techniques such as better drainage systems and the construction of ponds with waterfalls.
Complementing the on-site construction project will be presentations by prominent experts in golf course architecture, construction and renovation on how to best use new technologies to manage water. Specific topics as part of this program will include:
• Choosing grass varieties appropriate for growing conditions and use
• Storm water management
• Explanation of the Golf Course Environmental Profile for water use and conservation elements
• Examining the benefits of soil moisture monitoring and weather station data
• Irrigation technology
• Designing for efficient water use
• Landscaping for efficient water use and aquatic plants
The seminar program offered by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America in concurrence with the GIS will also include some timely updates on water-related topics. As part of the United States Golf Association’s Green Section Education Program, Darin Bevard, Senior Agronomist of the USGA’s Mid-Atlantic Region, will make a presentation on “ways to gain awareness of how the hidden costs of overwatering may be costing properties, in more ways than one.”
The GIS General Session will feature a presentation by Stephen M. R. Covey, author of the best-selling book, “The SPEED of Trust.”
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