Five things to watch for on the 2023 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show floor

Keep an eye out for these highlights of the trade show floor in Orlando.


2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show floor

Neither star Super Bowl quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes nor Jalen Hurts will be in Orlando this week. Ted Harris, however, is. The way he sees it, his company will be a player at what is an event that is the golf management industry equivalent of football’s epic game.

Five (or even six, seven and more) things to watch for during The GCSAA Conference and Trade Show inside the Orange County Convention Center needs to start with the 450-plus exhibitors that will be in the house. And, for the first time ever, Bedford Reinforced Plastics is signed up for the festivities. As sales account manager for Bedford, Harris suggested to Bedford that the GCSAA event is a must. They agreed.

“We do an awful lot of shows. I made a huge push for the company to go to this show. If you’re going to get in this market and be a supplier to anybody and any golf course owners or builders, this is the show to go to. It would be a Super Bowl for us,” Harris said.

Besides the opportunity to visit hundreds of booths such as Bedford, multiple activities will take place on the show floor this week. They include:

  • Green complex, built in collaboration by the GCSAA, American Society of Golf Course Architects, Golf Course Builders Association of America and the United States Golf Association. The space is front and center on the trade show floor, located between the two main entrances. The 20,000 square foot area will feature two forward tees, partial builds, a green featuring three different types of turf, irrigation demos and more.
  • Test it! Spray it! Grind it! Drive it! From learning grinder best practices, cup cutting competitions, blade changing and a mower obstacle course, there is a plethora of activities to test your skills and, perhaps, learn a thing or two. Attendees can test exhibitors’ products and services and even get information about the latest apps to assist in their operations.
  • Golf. Thanks to vendor Sun Belt Rentals, a golf simulator is on hand. So is a golf professional, who will offer tips to help buoy your game.
  • The Heritage tailgate trailer offers showgoers a chance to enjoy a tailgate, a la what you might experience at a big football game.
  • ‘A” for autonomy. The electric demonstration area is the location to see up close the newest technologies in the industry, including autonomous vehicles.

And, of course, those cuddly dogs are scheduled to be in the house. What would the Golf Conference and Trade Show be without Flyaway Geese and their exhibition with the dogs? One lucky person has the chance to leave with one of the pups.

That’s not all. The new “Cavalcade of Shows” will let showgoers stretch their budgets. If you like to listen to Sirius XM’s “Katrek & Maginnes on Tap,” the show will be recording live on the trade show floor.

If you stop by the Bedford booth, you even will see a small sample size example in 8 feet long x 3 feet wide form of their ReadySpan Golf Course Bridges on display. It is among all of the happenings you can check out on the trade show floor, in which Bedford (who actually already has some of their product on golf courses) is thrilled to be involved.

“We have a product to offer directly to golf course owners and golf course superintendents. We are very excited to be a first-time exhibitor and to be able to introduce our company and our product to this industry,” says Harris. “I told our owners be prepared to come away with 50 to 60 people who are looking at your product, interested in your product and want quotes for your product. I think there’ll be that much interest there.”

Howard Richman is GCM's associate editor