To help remind his team of the high expectations he has for the planning and execution of the annual U.S. PGA Merchandise Show, Marc Simon draws a parallel between the show and professional golf’s four signature major events.
Just as the PGA calendar includes many tournaments, but only four that get the white-hot spotlight, Simon has endeavored to make his show, held each January in Orlando, into the flagship event in the flourishing world of golf-related merchandise. From the marketing to the exhibits, lodging, food and exhibitor support, Simon is dedicated to making sure the show is “major” in every way.
“Everything is at a higher level,” he says. “How do we make sure that everything we do is at the highest caliber? We are aiming for amazing experiences, unparalleled education. When our customers leave, we want them to be wowed.”
Simon, who has worked with the PGA Show management team since 1998 in sales and account management, was named director of the event six years ago. As a former college golfer, golf pro shop employee and college sports information director, the role strikes the optimal mix of his love for golf and the unique gifts required for successful event management.
People who run successful trade shows must be passionate about the industry they represent, adept at multitasking and calm under pressure, Simon says. But he has found that the pre-eminent qualification he brings to the task is his ability to be a team player—to bring good people on board and trust them to adopt the show’s vision and carry out their role with excellence.