Many clubs let suppliers dictate when and how “Demo Days” for golf equipment will be held, and the result is too often a fragmented, hard-to-control approach that gets spread out, with diluted impact, throughout the season.
At Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., however, the emphasis is on a Demo Day—singular—that is organized and executed with the club members’ best interests in mind. Being able to call all of the shots, of course, is much easier when you have 3,000 members and the reputation of a Congressional, which will host the U.S. Open in 2011. But the key attributes of Congressional’s Demo Day model can be carried out on any scale:
THE GOAL:Have a “Demo Day” that’s a real draw at Congressional CC.THE PLAN: Hype the occasion as a regular, kickoff event for the golf season; make it clear it’s a now-or-never opportunity; get all staff involved, and add foodservice to the mix as a further enticement to come, and stay.
THE PAYOFF: Better control, concentrated results ($60,000 in sales), and a “must-attend” fixture on the event calendar.
• Have consistent timing. Congressional’s Demo Day is always the last Saturday of April
• Make it a real (and one-time) event. Congressional gets over 20 vendors to participate, and members look forward to having one opportunity to see all of the year’s new products and at the same time get geared up for a new season.
• Get full staff involvement. All of the Congressional golf staff is on hand from 9 to 5 to help fit and sell clubs, and the F&B department prepares a cookout lunch that’s served on the driving range.
Does such a concentrated and intensive effort pay off? Total sales from Congressional’s Demo Day are $60,000, the club reports, and the event is now well-established as “very popular with our members and a great [way] to kick off our year and jump-start our golf sales.”
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