By Mitra Sorrells Posted February 1, 2011, 1:35 PM EST
Created in conjunction with the convention center and Visit Orlando (the new name of the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau), the Superpass offered three hotels each with nightly rates under $90; breakfast and lunch at the convention center for $35 daily for both meals; and dinner at restaurants at the Mall at Millenia or Pointe Orlando for $20, with transportation available for an additional $10. Organizers said they intend to expand the program next year and also to get information out to potential attendees earlier; for this show, they started marketing the Superpass program in early December.
Overall attendance at this year’s show was up 3.5 percent over 2010, with representation from all 50 states and 88 countries. Nearly 1,000 companies exhibited at the trade show, about the same as last year, with 246 new exhibitors participating.
“The packed aisles, industry enthusiasm, and increased order writing reported by vendors are all solid indicators of a strong year for the business of golf in 2011,” Several said.
The P.G.A. Merchandise Show filled more than 900,000 square feet of the convention center, with more than half of it used for exhibit space. In addition to the trade show, the event included meetings sponsored by various golf organizations, more than 60 educational seminars, equipment demonstrations, award programs, and an employment center.