50th Anniversary WCTA Conference and Trade Show Report
By Jerry Rousseau
Our 50th anniversary conference and trade show was an incredible success. Although a final delegate tally is not yet ready, attendance was better than expected with 300+ turf managers participating. Supplier support was staggering with 79 companies selling out the trade show floor even after additional space was created several weeks prior to the event to meet the needs of increased demand for booth space. This number was up significantly over the 62 companies participating in Victoria last year and is historically second only to a tie of 81 exhibiting in Victoria in 2009 and Penticton in 2005.
Education program feedback has been very positive and we were pleased to be able to present a mixture of local and international talent. Highlights most definitely included Doug Carrick, top Canadian Golf Course Architect, Tom Serensits, sportsturf guru from Penn State University and Dr. Joe Schwarcz from McGill University’s Office of Science and Society. And we now know that a bigger room is required for Mario Lanthier’s talks!
Every delegate left with more than they arrived starting with the 50th Anniversary Conference memento, a beautifully done ball mark repair tool with magnetic ball marker presented in a keepsake tin case with WCTA logo. Other extra lucky participants include the following draw prize winners who had to be present at the closing ceremonies to win:
Early Bird Registration - $350 Gift Package from Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Paul Richards, District of North Cowichan
3 RC Choppers:
Adam Graham, Prince George Golf & Curling Club
Rick Munro, Fairwinds Golf Course
Scott Mitchell, Target Products
Private Fraser River Sturgeon Fishing Day Trip for four people $650 value
Russ Eitner, Mt. Brenton Golf Club
$1000 Grand Prize
Ernie Whitelaw, Mt. Brenton Golf Club
Further conference results and information will be released as available over the next several weeks. In the meantime, on behalf of the conference organizing committee and WCTA Board of Directors, thank you to our sponsors, suppliers and of course delegates, for attending the 2013 show. We would also like to thank the Penticton Conference Centre and Lakeside Hotel’s hospitality and hard work to ensure the production was flawless. And if it wasn’t for the tremendous efforts of the Kwantlen University Turf Club, things just would not have happened so effortlessly.
Thanks also to our conference staff team who come together once per year but operate like a group that works together daily and thanks to hometown hero, Larry Olson for his onsite efforts over the past year of organizational legwork that we put into an event of this scale.
We hope to see everyone at our 2014 Joint Conference and Trade Show being organized in partnership with the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association taking place in Vancouver February 21-25.