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Friday, January 20, 2017

10 Top Tips to Survive (and Thrive) at the PGA Merchandise Show

The PGA Merchandise Show is imminent and everyone in the golf business is frantically printing, packing and making meetings for O Town. It is the time to meet old friends, make new ones and take a look at the 2017 lines of the major hard and soft goods manufacturers as well as the up and comers. This year there will be no Nike Golf hard goods, no PXG and we'll observe a changing golf media landscape. So here we go with my Top 10 Tips to Survive (and Thrive) at the PGA Merchandise Show.
1. Wear comfortable shoes...this is no time to break in your FootJoy teaching shoes
2. Don't sell on other people's booths. They have spent thousands on the space and months preparing for the show - it's just not cool. 
3. Drink plenty of water. Monster Energy drinks are not going to help your hydration! There are water fountains and it may well be the only free thing in the cavernous Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).
4. If you want to do business, dress appropriately. Smart casual is perfect and don't pretend you are Ricky Fowler.
5. Eat a good breakfast at your hotel because the food in the OCCC is like a hot dog in a movie theater...overcooked and overpriced. I did find Chick-fil-A last year, so that's a step up from previous years. The queues were monstrous, so eat early or late!
6. Be very specific about where to meet your appointment. Pick a booth (and a specific location on the big booths) so you maximize the chance to actually find the person you are meeting.
7. Be prepared to stand and talk. There is nowhere to sit down in the OCCC. My annual note to the organizers; people are here to meet, so you may want to invest in some chairs.
8. It's a long way from the 1000 aisle to the 6000 aisle so don't make three appointments in 60 minutes in three locations. It's like trying to get from uptown to downtown in Manhattan at 4:00 p.m.
9. Be patient. Everyone is busy and often running a few minutes behind. Whether you are buying or selling they will come.
10. Take some time to wander the floor. Go see the New Products section and marvel at the entrepreneurial spirit in our business.

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