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March 27, 2014

Nolan Halterman: Turn Your Demo Days Into a Larger Event

nolan-haltermanNolan Halterman, the 2013 Southwest PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is a PGA Certified Professional and the director of golf at Anthem Country Club in Henderson, Nev.

Nolan Halterman on the importance of turning your demo days into a larger event:
Two years ago we wanted to turn our smaller demo days into something bigger. We felt like they had more potential and theorized if we went from having smaller ones scattered all over the calendar into two big events, one in the spring and one in fall, they would be a big hit. And that’s exactly what has happened. We now have five (this year it will be six with the addition of a shoe company for the first time) vendors who show off their products alongside free food and drink offerings and an opportunity for our customers to trade in their old clubs for shop credit. We also have our professional staff constantly roaming the range to help assist our members since they know them so well. In addition, we set up our launch monitor, and two other companies bring launch monitors as well, to help with basic fittings. For our members, it gives them a greater variety and more options to choose from when shopping for new clubs while getting major brands all together on the same day. For us, we are able to take orders on the spot, add the orders to our new tracking software and provide the details of the orders to every member with a personalized note. Finally, for the companies, it gives them an opportunity to show their newest equipment to an engaged and excited audience.

Nolan Halterman on the business impact of turning your demo days into a larger event:
More than 100 members attended the two demo days each day last year. We saw nearly five times the amount of sales from the pre-2012 demo days to what we saw last fall. Normally our shop doesn’t carry every vendor, but expanding our demo day selection allowed us to bring in those companies. In fact last fall, one of them, in just their own sales that day, doubled our total pre-2012 demo day sales. With the fittings, we are able to provide members with performance data versus their current equipment, which helps increase sales. If I can show them that the new driver is going further than their current driver, it is easier to make the sale than by just saying it looks like you are hitting it well. Experiences like that prove how big of an opportunity this can be for equipment manufacturers and for our hard good sales. The food & beverage offerings we provided (mostly just your ordinary grill items) are a relatively minor financial output in order to enhance the experience of demo day. With the trade-in opportunity, we simply took the members’ clubs, sent them to the individual companies, waited for their evaluation, and then credited that amount to the members’ account once the check was received from the manufacturer. The biggest takeaway we took is that by making the day into an event we were able to satisfy every party’s needs and turn what can be a very mundane and rudimentary day into a big event for all involved.

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