Most Innovative Meetings 2012: #8 P.G.A. Merchandise Show

A series of videos produced on the show floor gave consumers a peek inside the private industry event, adding value for exhibitors.

By Mitra Sorrells July 19, 2012, 2:35 AM EDT

Crews traveled the show floor recording sessions, fashion shows, and interviews with attendees.

Photo: Claire Pacelli for BizBash

For nearly 60 years, the P.G.A. Merchandise Show has attracted thousands of golf professionals and buyers from around the world to check out the latest equipment, apparel, and accessories from vendors. For the first time, this year organizers offered the public a preview of this new merchandise and a peek inside this private event by sharing videos from the show floor for free online.

“Our customers access the largest business-to-business golf marketplace in the world at the P.G.A. Merchandise Show, and with our new video-streaming program, we now also provide valuable access to core golf consumers worldwide via Internet and social media without compromising the quality of business on the show floor,” said Ed Several, senior vice president of P.G.A. Golf Exhibitions. “The exhibitors’ investment now has double the value.”

The Golf Channel, a division of NBC Sports, produced 34 videos that included interviews with celebrities and exhibitors, highlights from fashion shows and special events, and product demonstrations. Pga.com produced eight videos, including overviews of each day of the show and topical videos covering specific aspects of the show such as accessories, equipment, and technology. All videos were three to five minutes long.

The results were better than expected. The videos had been viewed more than 140,000 times since they began appearing on pga.com and golfchannel.com during the show in January. The show team shared links to the videos with exhibitors featured in the taped content. Many of those vendors posted the links on their company Web sites, creating even greater exposure.

“What we learned in some post-event research is that consumers really do want intriguing and interesting content, whether that be new products or new apparel,” Several said. “They want details about it, more insight. The most valuable content is more than just visual, it is also informative.”

Organizers plan to offer the video streaming at the next P.G.A. show in January and are developing plans to monetize it.

“Now we understand what people will click on to,” Several said. “There is an opportunity for us to offer premium opportunities to exhibitors to have featured content, to have more of an interactive experience so someone watching online can click on a sponsored link to get more content.”

Next year the show will also share video links with bloggers and social media influencers who cover the event so they can share them with their followers.

The P.G.A. show is produced by Reed Exhibitions, and the company plans to offer video streaming at some of its other industry events.

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