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Inaugural Golf Business Forum attracts over 200 industry leaders

Inaugural Golf Business Forum attracts over 200 industry leaders
August 12, 2016

The organisers of the inaugural Golf Business Forum have revealed that the event attracted over 200 golf industry leaders, Australia’s largest ever gathering of golf facility owners, operators, industry leaders and business partners.

Forum co-Director Andrew Davies explained “we set out to create a new opportunity for industry owners and operators to engage with industry leadership, suppliers and other participants, with a focus on facilities servicing public golfers.

“We were thrilled to see so many respond, and have received great support from across the industry to take the Forum further.”

A range of golf facilities were represented at the Forum, held at the Melbourne Park Function Centre, including municipal golf facilities, private golf clubs, driving ranges, mini-golf facilities, virtual golf facilities, hotels and holiday resorts. Industry suppliers and organisations were also well represented.

The Golf Business Forum featured a trade show and theatre, offering the attendees an array of speakers on topics relevant to all golf businesses across three key themes:

• Market Dynamics – insights into international and local sports and golf participation trends

• Facility Development & Innovation – including a showcase of leading Australian golf facilities

• Customer Engagement & Experiences – critical insights into harnessing digital marketing and community relations to engage golfers, build loyalty and deliver memorable experiences

Speakers were sourced from both Australia and abroad, with keynote speakers Jay Karen (Chief Executive of the National Golf Course Owners Association) and Lodewijk Klootwijk (Chief Executive of the European Golf Course Owners Association) both providing highlights.

Forum co-Director Guy Chapple added “to get the international perspective from leaders like Jay and Lodewijk is a huge bonus.

“Their insights gave many confidence that we can embrace the trends in other markets and leverage their experiences to our advantage here.”

Feature case studies were presented by Wembley Golf course in Western Australia, Moore Park Golf in NSW, Yarra Bend Golf in Victoria and Club Parkwood in Queensland.

Each facility showcased their story with detailed presentations showing the benefits of long term planning, an investment strategy, and committed leadership.

Delegates also came together at a cocktail function in Melbourne’s CBD, with many using the Golf Business Forum as an opportunity to meet like-minded industry participants for the first time, and engage with industry leadership.

In his presentation, Stephen Pitt, Chief Executive of Golf Australia, outlined the array of programs the industry body is rolling out to drive participation of golf into the future.

Pitt explained “getting engagement with all golf facilities, both public and private, is critical for us in order to grow the game in this country.”

Leading sports digital expert Sean Callanan from offered valuable perspective on the state of the digital landscape, and identified practical steps golf facilities can take to manage their online presence and create engagement with customers in the use of content, data and social media.

Key statistics from the Golf Business Forum:

• Two days of informative and educational content
• 18 speakers
• 220 attendees
• 972 coffees consumed
• 54% of delegates at Chief Executive or General Manager level
• Representatives from all States and overseas

An announcement about the next Forum will be made in coming weeks.





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