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Thursday, January 17, 2013

7 Tips for a Successful PGA Merchandise Show

I have been going to "the Show", as everyone calls it, since 1989 and yes, it is golf's Groundhog Day but I wouldn't miss it for the world. It's an opportunity to meet old friends, make new ones and see the latest and greatest equipment from the big manufacturers and from those one man bands who just might strike gold with their latest product. So being an old hand here are my Top 7 tips to make the most of the show.

1. Wear comfortable shoes...this is no time to break in your FootJoy teaching shoes.

2. If you want to do business, dress appropriately. Smart casual is perfect and don't dress like you are on Tour...you're not, or you would be in La Jolla or Qatar and not schlepping around Orlando like the rest of us.

3. Eat a good breakfast at your hotel because the food in the Orange County Convention Center is like a hot dog in a movie theater...overcooked and overpriced.

4. Be very specific about where to meet your appointment. Pick a booth, preferably a small one so you can't miss the person you are meeting. Confirming your 1030 at the TaylorMade booth will almost certainly guarantee you'll still be looking for one another 20 minutes later. And remember there is nowhere to sit down in the Hall, so be prepared to stand and talk.

5. Give yourself time to move about the floor. 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 4pm with no cabs - all the stars need to be aligned and it still takes twice as long as you think.

6. Be patient. Everyone is busy and often running a few minutes behind. Whether you are buying or selling they will come - see above!

7. Take some time to wander the floor. Go see the new products section and marvel at the craziness of this business of ours. 

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