The inaugural Première Golf 2000 European golf trade event has been declared an outstanding success by all sectors of the golf business. The event, staged by Reed Exhibition Companies at the newly refurbished Marbella Congress Palace last week (November 14-17), was supported by Callaway, Taylor Made, Titleist and most of the other leading golf manufacturers and attended by buyers from all over Europe.
"This is just what the industry needed," said Tom Hilliard, a director of Doug McClelland Golf Stores. "It's a nice environment with a really good buzz about it. The show fits perfectly with all our buying requirements."
Première Golf 2000 was attended by many leading UK buying groups, including Tartan Golf International, Lakes Golf, Golfers Direct and Europro as well as by Nevada Bob and leading high street golf chains. Golf Professionals and retailers from all the major European golf countries were strongly represented. The business generated by the high quality trade audience has resulted in most exhibitors having already confirmed plans to take part in next year's event.
"I'm very pleased we decided to come to Première Golf 2000. It has been well organised and everything has been done to attract the right customers. We will definitely be here next year," said Bill McGuinness, of Softspikes Ltd. And that was a view shared by both Charlie Casson of Ashworth and Eric English of Lyle and Scott.
"We have been pleased with the level of visitors and will certainly be supporting the show next year”, said Casson. "I am very pleased with the first year of the show, it has a very good atmosphere which is important. We have had a very good show" agreed English.
The softwear manufacturers pronounced themselves delighted by the amount of business that had been written during the Show and representatives from the hardwear companies were also highly complimentary about the Show.
"We have seen the vast majority of our key customers and have had a fantastic reaction to our new irons. It has been a very worthwhile exercise," said Jon Parsons of Adams Golf.
"It is a good concept with a real buzz about the place," agreed Paul Steels of Golf Pride. "Everyone I have spoken to has been very positive. I will definitely consider exhibiting next year."
"We are really delighted," confirmed Rob Greig of Callaway Golf while Robin Gibson of Taylor Made went one stage further when he said: "This show has the potential to become the show for all of Europe".
More than 1500 visitors from all over Europe attended the Première Golf 2000 exhibition. Large numbers of visitors attended on multiple days ensuring high levels of activity the whole time the exhibition was open. On the fourth day more than 400 visitors and exhibitors stayed on to take part in a golf day staged at six courses including Valderrama, Almenara and highly acclaimed new Marbella Club Golf Resort.
"The Golf Day was a great way to finish what was a highly successful week," said Event Director Robert Fairbairn. "Our objective in establishing Première Golf was to create an event that was successful on a business level but also gave participants the chance to relax, talk to each other, and enjoy some golf.
"I am delighted that those exhibitors and visitor groups who shared this vision and made a commitment to Première Golf, have enjoyed and benefited from the experience. We have proved that Spain’s golf coast is the ideal venue for a European golf exhibition and we are indebted to everyone in the region who helped us establish Première Golf. In particular the Andalusian Tourist Board, the Costa del Sol Tourist Board and the City of Marbella all of whom have committed tremendous support.
“We are confident that Première Golf is now in a position to go from strength to strength and become the main focus in the European golf trade calendar. We have long term agreements in place with the regional authorities, Marbella Town Hall and with our buying group partners and these relationships will be key to the future development of the event.”
Premiere Golf seems to be the biggest show in Europe and with direct connections to the 2001 Orlando show in January next year, it seems that these two shows are where everyone in the industry should be seen.