Event Coordinator Days

Jeffery Buttitta, the 2004 Illinois PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is the PGA director of golf at The Hawthorns Golf and Country Club in Fishers, Ind.

When it comes to drawing in new tournament or outing business, thinking of new ways to market your facility is key. A new program I implemented this year was to have a couple of Event Coordinator Days, to which we invite both current and prospective outing representatives for an informal seminar and tour of our facility. Moreover, I have corporate sponsorship for these events, partnering with Nike Golf. They give each representative a thank you gift and inform them of the benefits of ordering items directly through the PGA Professional, as opposed to through third-party suppliers. While the potential clients are here, we also discuss what they want out of the event and help them think of ways to market and get the word out there – most of our clients are charities, and they often look to us as the experts in marketing golf events. Overall, the goal of the Event Coordinator Day is to educate the various coordinators on how they can benefit from sponsorship, raise funds for their event and how they can utilize us for their gifting programs.

We will typically host anywhere from 11 to 13 outings per year, most of them for charitable organizations. This year, with our increased focus on marketing, we already have 15 pre-booked events, with five more prospects. These days are mutually beneficial, as we bring in more events and also help the client personalize and market the event according to their goals. Plus, with a sales representative for Nike on hand, we’re able to order gifts and prizes for the client, which gives us some merchandise revenue and usually saves the client money as well.