It's been 4 years since I've been to the PGA Show in Orlando. Last couple years seemed like it had lost some steam because of Covid so I didn't attend, but I'm here to say it is all the way back. It's so rare to get this many industry peeps in one spot, so it can be both amazing and overwhelming.
The actual expo hall had my knees feeling like packing peanuts. I remember visiting a buddy's booth in the 7000's and I had to go visit one of my manufacturers booths over in the 1,000's and I almost started crying. Might bring heely shoes next year. Yes the navy vest and khaki brigade were out in full force (not a knock, it's a decent look, it's just looks more like a uniform there and not an outfit lol), especially in the technology side. But the apparel section is alive and well. It looks and feels much different than the last time I was there. Not just with who were exhibiting, but the people attending. There were pockets of people that looked like they were supposed to be at Complex Con or something, which was amazing to see.
I didn't do a booth this year and might not for a while. I just love using that time to connect with people I don't see very often and build on old and new relationships. It's my favorite part of what I do and so I'm more than ok with just showing up without an agenda and see how many people I can meet up with. Sometimes as a creative and business owner you go in confidence slumps. This show couldn't have come at a better time. To everyone who stopped me and chatted about how much they enjoy the brand - THANK YOU. Seriously. It takes a village.
Some key takeaways:
- A shitty AirBnb with a group of people continues to be the move. You won't remember your hotel room, but you will remember your buddies having to share a mickey mouse bunk bed.
- Corona tastes even better with golf friends
- Corona tastes even better at Millers Ale House
- Don't play 18 holes during show days. You can do the show, 9 holes and still make a late dinner in the same day. 18 is way too much.
- Mix in a water
- Get in early on set up day so you can play a full round of golf, get your badge before the huge lines, and allows you to get there early the next day.
- Look over the whole exhibitors list before hand so you don't miss anything. I was there 3 days and still missed people because I didn't know they where there. #fail
- Meeting up with people is far easier at the show than at the bars after
- 1am Wawa is elite
Until next year.