Q&A with PGA of America Vice President Paul Levy
By Ken Van Vechten
LAS VEGAS – We had the chance catch up with PGA of America Vice President Paul Levy for a quick Q&A on Wednesday at the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience. Levy earned PGA membership in 1986, was elected Secretary in 2012 and Vice President in 2014.
Q.: We had the PGA Fall Expo for years, but this event has become something different.
LEVY: The rebranding that Reed Exhibitions has done in the past few years has been very well received. It was a positive move rebranding it as the Fashion & Demo Experience. We had the Demo Day the first day, because you have to give golf professionals a taste of equipment. But this isn't an equipment show; that's Orlando (the annual PGA Merchandise Show in January). Fashion is the cornerstone (here in Las Vegas). With the fashion part of it, it is a great show for the region, and the timing is right.
Q.: The timing is right, in what sense?
LEVY: A lot of people don't realize that when you are in a resort area that is seasonal, when your season is November through May, not everyone can go to Orlando for five days in January. It's not a great time, it's high season. That's why this show is a great opportunity, particularly in this region, though we have attendees from most every state and overseas.
Q.: Whom is the Fashion & Demo Experience targeting?
LEVY: This show isn't just for PGA members. It's for the merchandisers of our clubs, it's for the industry, it's for buyers. It needs to serve the whole industry, not just the PGA of America. This is an opportunity to come and meet with vendors and companies, your sales representatives, in a very intimate environment. Let's face it, when you are in Orlando, that is the show of all shows, with 483,000 square feet (interactive exhibit and demonstration areas) and 50,000 people. This is much more intimate. To me, the No. 1 thing is the networking. If you are in the golf industry that's what everyone loves, the relationships.
Q.: How do feel the show is positioned?
LEVY: Everything ebbs and flows, and now that things have started to come back, as that happens, as the golf industry recovers along with the rest of the country, you will see attendance numbers go up. The number of companies showing is up, Demo Day attendance was up. We will continue to see that.
Q.: Vegas isn’t a bad place for a get-together, is it?
LEVY: Obviously you have the sideshow of Las Vegas, which is an added benefit for people, whether they want to come out and see a show, hit a table one night with their friends, have a nice dinner. It's an entertainment spot. In Orlando, you have Mickey; here you have all the other stuff.