Q: How can I get the most from attending the GCSAA Conference?
A: This will be my 35th year attending the GCSAA Conference, and in my opinion, it’s the best event of the year for gathering information, renewing friendships, and getting energized for the coming year. Here are my top five tips for getting the most from your attendance at the 2023 GCSAA Conference, Feb. 6 to 9 in Orlando, Florida.
1. Preparation—Spend one or two days before going to the conference thinking about the challenges at your golf facility and what is needed to make it better. Do the same with your professional experience and education and where you need to fill the gaps to be a more effective superintendent. This will help you to focus your time most effectively and bring home the information you really need.
2. Get as much education as you can—The wide range of classes and seminars is amazing, not only for the information, but also for the opportunity to speak to the professors, experts and superintendents presenting the information. Chances are, you will also hear great stories and get solid information from attendees in your class to help your situation.
3. Check out new products and trends in the industry—Every golf facility has problems and issues that need to be resolved. With over 500 exhibitors in attendance, the conference and tradeshow is the best place to investigate products and solutions. You can check out things you’ve seen in the trade magazines and compare which options might be right for your facility. Electric equipment, robotic mowing, and non-chemical pest control options are just a few of the emerging trends in the golf industry. What else might be coming your way? It’s your job to let your employer know what’s happening in the future and how to prepare for it.
4. Plan for upcoming events—There’s no better place to investigate and plan for upcoming projects. All the manufacturers are in one place! Maybe there is a solution you haven’t considered at one of the exhibitors. Plus, you have the architects, contractors and other superintendents that have done projects that you can bounce ideas off of to fine tune your plans and avoid potential mistakes.
5. Renew relationships and build your network—I’ve made friends from all over the country and all over the world because of attending the GCSAA Conference. Building your network and making new friends makes you a better superintendent and expands the number of people you can contact when you have questions. And isn’t it comforting to know that superintendents all over the world have some of the same problems? (How can I get my golfers to fix their ball marks and repair their divots!)
See you in Orlando!