Seminar seat numbers highest since 2008
Lawrence, Kan. – Attendance for the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, the largest annual event in the turfgrass management industry, was up 69% over the 2022 event in San Diego. Total attendance was 11,000 vs. 6,500 in-person attendance in 2022 and comparable with the 11,700 who attended the last pre-pandemic event held in Orlando in 2020. A total of 6,300 seminar seats were filled, which was up 70% over 2021, and was the highest number since 2008. In addition to education for superintendents, the event also included specialized education for assistant superintendents, equipment managers, students and more.
The trade show covered nearly 250,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Orange County Convention Center and hosted nearly 450 exhibitors.
The week began with the GCSAA Golf Championships presented by Toro. The event was sold-out and featured the launch of the Toro Par-3 shoot-out along with formats offering golfers an opportunity to have fun, meet new people, renew old friendships, and play in various flighted competitions. Dylan Foster, assistant superintendent at Verandah Golf Club in Fort Myers, Fla., was the winner of the 2023 GCSAA National Championship
Among the highlights, the conference began Monday with the launch of the GCSAA Interactive Facility Tours and ended with a Welcome Reception, presented in partnership with Syngenta, at Aquatica Beach with food, fun and comradery. Tuesday featured a continuation of education in the classroom and on the golf course as part of the GCSAA Interactive Facility Learning Tours, with the day capping off with the announcement of an MOU between GCSAA and The Warrior Alliance.
On Wednesday, the Sunrise Celebration, presented in partnership with Syngenta, saw John Newton, CGCS Retired, receive GCSAA’s Col. John Morley Award to begin the day. Then, attendees experienced the launch of the Interactive Grass Learning Stage built through a collaboration of the GCBAA, GCSAA, USGA and ASGCA at the trade show.
Wednesday also featured the 2023 GCSAA Turf Bowl, presented in partnership with John Deere. Team No. 11 from Penn State University won the 2023 Turf Bowl.
Thursday saw the launch of GCSAA Auction $Bucks, enabling attendees to earn points used to bid on items in a live auction at the GCSAA Send-Off Celebration, presented in partnership with John Deere. The highlight of the Send-Off Celebration was the presentation of the GCSAA Old Tom Morris Award to Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops.
The GCSAA Conference and Trade Show is produced by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) along with its presenting partners the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), United States Golf Association (USGA) and the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) .
GCSAA will continue to offer conference learning with a two-day virtual event of new education offerings for everyone at the golf facility March 14 and 16, 2023. Details and registration information can be found at www.GCSAAConference.com.
The 2024 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show will head to Phoenix Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 2024, at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 19,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and improve communities through enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at GCMonline.com.
The GCSAA Foundation is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to secure funding and support to strengthen advocacy, education, and research that advances the work of golf course management professionals. Visit the Foundation at www.gcsaa.org/foundation.