2017 PGA Merchandise Show: Setting up shop

As a rule, America knows how to put on a show. Bigger and better seems to be their mantra and the PGA Merchandise Show is testament to this. A couple of quick facts to highlight the shear scale of the show:

1,100: Interactive exhibits to visit
40,000: Industry leaders from 74 countries
10 miles: Walk up and down every aisle and you’ll have walked this far
600,000+: Square feet of exhibit space

On January 21st myself and colleagues from the St Andrews Links Retail team flew out to Orlando, Florida to visit this colossal show.

For me, it was my first time and it truly was a spectacle. While I was there to learn and take in the experience, the main reason was business. As Visual Merchandise Manager at the Links, I was kindly given the opportunity to work alongside Summit Golf Brands (the company behind the likes of Fairway & Greene, Zero Restriction and EP Pro) as well as Bobby Jones, for the 3 days running up to the show. Both companies are long time suppliers of the Links, so it was great to collaborate with them in helping set up and merchandise their stands.


I was met at the hotel by Kris Wortman, Vice President of Design and Merchandising for EP Pro, New York. We made our way to the Exhibition Centre where I was introduced to the wider Summit Brands team. The amount of preparation work that goes on behind the scenes is staggering. The team was busy setting up the meeting rooms that their sales reps would be working from as well as their main exhibition stand. I had the task of helping dress the mannequins that were displayed in the meeting rooms. As well as their own team, Summit also enlisted the help of a group of students who were on hand to steam and prepare the clothing.


The following day I was helping golf and skiwear company, Sunice, as well as Bobby Jones set up their stands. Both with colourful ranges and exciting new lines for the upcoming year:


It was all go organising final preparations before the show began. I was back with Summit Brands to help put the final touches to their stand. Some unique displays graced the aisles including Summit’s ‘USA’ made out of red, white and blue polo shirts all folded to the exact same measurements, making for a bold and stunning effect.



As mentioned, a lot of time and effort goes into making the show the huge success that it is. It also goes some way to explaining the size of the operation when I tell you staff members were getting to and from appointments on Segways. On top of this, it took five solid days to set up for a three day show!

The show itself was a great success and I may have been a small part of bringing it all together, but the experience was invaluable and I look forward to putting some ideas into action in our stores.

Words by Joyce McBride, Visual & Retail Merchandise Manager.

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