“That makes a huge difference in visitor attendance and in the amount of vendors.”
The green expanse is also a major benefit for the Expo. "Because the Convention Center is fully carpeted, our exhibitors save hundreds of dollars in carpet costs," says Gregg Tengerstrom, one of the Expo's coordinators. "We save hundreds as well, because the carpet accommodates our demo area without added costs." At the Center, the carpet muffles the impact of balls dropping, so conversation is much easier to conduct.
"The Convention Center is very vendor-friendly," states Tengerstrom. "The wi-fi is free, the staff is accommodating and polite and they don't charge a lot of additional fees." Load-in and tear-down are well-organized, he notes, so exhibitors are willing to return.
The Center's location is another advantage for the Golf Expo. Just minutes southwest of Chicago at I-80 and Harlem Avenue, nearby connections to I-355, I-55, I-294, I-57 and I-94 make the Center is simple to access, at the hub of Chicagoland's transportation crossroads. "While the Expo is centered in the Southwest suburbs, we've welcomed visitors from all around the Midwest and from the heart of Chicago. The Center is in a perfect spot."
Free parking is a big draw, both for exhibitors and visitors. "No one is paying $15 to $20 each day in parking fees to exhibit or attend the show," said Tengerstrom. "That makes a huge difference in visitor attendance and in the amount of vendors." Attendance for the Expo was 6,000 in 2012 and the organizers, including Bert Coghill and Joe Copeland, expect that to increase this year.
With 58,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Expo can accommodate the visitors and introduce golfers to new equipment, new methods and new techniques. The Expo benefits First Tee of Greater Chicago, providing youngsters with character and life skills lessons through golf.
For visitors, the Expo and Convention Center make golf dreams a reality, even in February.