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October 21, 2013

Kevin Baker: Use Events to Increase Awareness

kevin-bakerKevin Baker, the 2013 North Florida PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities, is the PGA director of golf at Reunion (Fla.) Resort.

Kevin Baker on the importance of using events to increase awareness:
One of the things that was an unexpected bonus of hosting a local qualifier for the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship at our practice facility was that the participants and their families were able to pick any place they wanted to compete at, not necessarily the one closest to them. So for us – a private resort community – we lucked out as people chose to come to us as a vacation. By holding the qualifier on our practice facility, it increased their awareness of us, giving them a reason to check out our website or give us a call to make a reservation. In addition, we tend to be a destination resort that people use for non-golf offerings in the area like Disney World, which we’re located really close to, rather than for golf vacations. Through this, however, it’s allowed our guests to see and experience our great golf facilities, including our practice area, the Annika Academy and our three championship golf courses. The qualifier has helped to expand our available customer base.

Kevin Baker on the business impact of using events to increase awareness:
From the time we were first announced as local qualifier location we’ve been seeing business impacts. Our qualifier saw 160 participants, and with an average of three people per family that’s an extra 500 people seeing our range, practice facility and facility as a whole. We had many families use it as a vacation, booking stay and play packages that helped increase rounds played on our courses and nights booked as people chose to make this into a golf vacation for the whole family. On the outing day itself we saw an increase of $500 in additional food & beverage sales, and for the weekend surrounding the qualifier we saw an extra 40 rounds played leading to approximately $4,000 in extra green fees revenue and an extra $1,000 in golf shop purchases. Furthermore, it’s been great to see both a resurgence of the younger generation getting into golf and to see how the community supported the event at our practice facility. That’s a true winning formula for everyone involved.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email kbaker@reunionresort.com