2013 CHICAGO GOLF SHOW SHATTERS ATTENDANCE RECORD FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEARPosted 03/26/13
CHICAGO, Illinois (Feb. 26, 2013) – The 2013 Chicago Golf Show Presented by the BMW Championship
last weekend (Feb. 22-24) shattered the show’s 30-year attendance record, show officials announced today.
Attendance at the 30th annual Chicago Golf Show was 19,200 in 2013, an increase of 15 percent, breaking the show’s overall attendance record set just last year, according to show organizer Tom Corcoran. In 2012, attendance was 16,700, an increase of 12 percent over 2011.
In the last two years, attendance at the Show was up 27 percent.
“This year’s Chicago Golf Show was the most successful in the 30-year history of the event,” said Corcoran, who has been running the three-day consumer show since 1997. It was founded in 1984.
The number of exhibitors increased this year to 189 from 187, also a record, Corcoran added.
Corcoran attributed the attendance increase to a number of factors:
- The fourth year of the Show’s Free Golf promotion in which every attendee was invited to sign up for a free round of golf, courtesy of GolfVisions, Inc., which operates a dozen courses in the Chicago area;
- The BMW Championship’s giveaway of 200 practice tickets each day of the show to the first 200 people to enter;
- The appearance of World Golf Hall of Fame member and Golf Channel commentator Lanny Wadkins on the show’s Daily Herald Golf Academy Stage, courtesy of the Encompass Championship;
- The usual large number of golf wholesalers, who, as always, offered attendees incredible deals on clubs, balls, shoes, apparel and more;
- A comprehensive marketing and advertising program aimed at touching golfers and golf fans of all backgrounds via a variety of outdoor, print, online, radio, TV, social media and online communications;
- The ongoing support of the Illinois PGA, 40 of whose members provided attendees with free instruction in full-swing, short game and putting;
- PR activities, including Media Luncheon, generated strong pre-and-post Show editorial coverage.
In addition to the Illinois PGA, other local golf institutions participating in the show this year were the Western Golf Association, which conducts BMW Championship as part of the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup Playoff series; the Encompass Championship, the PGA TOUR’s new Champions Tour event in the Chicago area; the Illinois Junior Golf Association, which provided complimentary admission to its members; the Chicago District Golf Association, which runs amateur tournaments and handicap services for golfers in the region, and the Executive Women’s Golf Association.
“For the last 30 years, the Chicago Golf Show has tried to appeal to golfers of all kinds based on the one
thing they all share in common: a passion for golf,” Corcoran said. “The Chicago Golf Show is a place
where attendees can get great prices on a huge selection of golf clubs, balls, shoes, apparel and more. But it also is a place where they can have fun with friends and family, hit the latest clubs, get fitted for a new set of clubs, learn more about how to play the game, find out about new places to play locally and at golf resorts around the country, get a subscription to Golf Digest and find out about tournaments to attend or participate in. There’s something for everyone at the Chicago Golf Show.”
The 2013 Chicago Golf Show again featured an expansive indoor driving range at “Chicago’s Largest
Demo Days” sponsored by the Swan Lake Resort of Plymouth, Ind. There, golfers hit the latest new clubs
from a range of the industry’s most popular manufacturers, including Callaway, Cleveland, Mizuno Srixon,
TaylorMade, Tour Edge, U.S. Kids Golf and Wilson Golf, among others. GreenGrass Clubfitting – which
has never missed a show – provided attendees with information on custom club fitting.
The Chicago Golf Show is the nation’s oldest consumer golf show and one of the largest.
The 31st annual Chicago Golf Show is set for Feb. 21-23, 2014 at the Stephens Convention Center in
SPONSORSHIP CORNERPosted 10/29/12
Corcoran Report: How does today’s economy affect sponsorship commitments?
Mary Michalik: This really depends on the industry. Some shows are doing very well while others are struggling or holding their own. It also depends on how well the association oversees and manages the conference. If management is doing a good job, sponsorships are usually more successful.
CR: In a tough economy, are there certain types of sponsorships that companies prefer?
MM: Yes, totebags, lanyards and keycards are always popular, but still may not sell if they are not priced appropriately for the industry. We rely on our experience and competitive research to see where the proper price point for each item should be. We also strive to provide a variety of options for different marketing needs and budgets.
CR: What are the hot sponsorships in 2012?
MM: I get asked this question frequently. It depends on the industry. A sponsorship that sells well in one industry may not generate much interest in another. However, totebags, lanyards and key cards remain popular items, if priced correctly for the show.
CR: Are there any types of sponsorships that have lost popularity in the last five years?
MM: Food and beverage sponsorships are a challenge. Companies have to show a return on their investment and it’s just not possible with food and beverage sponsorships. At best we can expect a portion of a food and beverage-based event to be sponsored , but this isn’t a sponsorship that will cover your costs as a show producer.
CR: How do you show prospective sponsors that sponsorships work?
MM: We provide the analytics companies need to demonstrate proof of performance. We provide everything possible that can show them how worthwhile their investment was, including a fulfillment report after the show that quantifies any specific trackable results, print-outs, pictures, demographics, etc. This especially needs to be done in order to renew that sponsorship for the upcoming year.
CR:What is the most unusual sponsorship you’ve ever sold?
MM: We had a longtime sponsor that always renewed the conference keycard sponsorship. The sponsorship program changed, which resulted in the keycard sponsorship being available only to the Premier Sponsor. I had to go back to the keycard sponsor and explain the sponsorship was no longer available. We discussed options and together developed a “Lavatory Sponsorship.” This sponsorship included signage on the backs of the bathroom stall doors, between the sinks and above the urinals at the conference center. The company’s marketing division created clever slogans that were placed in about 100 bathrooms throughout the conference center. Attendees could not stop talking about the signs. It was a great sponsorship and it makes for an unusual story.