Scottish Golf Tourism Week 2019 (SGTW) has just finished.
Based at the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews, SGTW brings together leading golf tour companies and a variety of suppliers of golf products to talk golf and do business.
For suppliers like us, the days are very much intensive speed dating.
(The above photo is my wife and I at the gala dinner, not speed dating!)
You have a pitch and you hope the tour operator is interested in what you have to offer.
It was this face to face approach I enjoyed the most.
Some people think in the social media age that it’s easy to get your message across.
A few Google ads, some well written Facebook content, some snappy Instagram photos, funny tweets and the world is your oyster.
The problem is, everyone is doing this.
It’s very hard to get your unique selling point across.
As we all say, people do business with people.
There’s simply no substitute for getting to know people.
That can’t happen in 15 minutes, but it’s a start. A first date, if you like, and hopefully the start of a mutually beneficial relationship.
SGTW was also fun.
As a first timer, I didn’t realise how much fun it would be.
But, this is golf, arguably the most sociable sport in the world, and the whole atmosphere about the event was supportive, inclusive and often very very funny.
One tour operator, if you were there and you’re reading this, you’ll know who I’m talking about, should really have been on stage at the gala dinner awards night.
I don’t think we talked any business at all during our session!
But, like, with all the other representatives there, we now have a relationship we can build.
Relations between suppliers, on the face of it, competitors, was first class too.
It was great to mix with professional people who appreciate that all of us in Scotland are in this together and there’s plenty of business for everyone if we do the right thing.
We’re just delighted to put Aberdour on the map.
It took me til about my fifth appointment to work out one of our issues is people just didn’t know where Aberdour is!
I really didn’t want to use the cliche “hidden gem” but I started using it because it’s just true.
Thanks to the organisers who put together this great event. Not just on the days of the conference but in all the weeks and months helping us prepare and have the best experience we could.
The Fairmont hotel was excellent too. A superb venue for a high profile event such as this and their staff were first class too.
I can’t wait til next year’s event!