Looking back: The inaugural Players 1st conference




The inaugural Players 1st conference

2018 is just around the corner, and this week we are looking back at the first annual Players 1st conference, held in Roskilde, Denmark, in 2017.

The three-day event was spent networking across borders, talking about the future of the industry, and how to make the most of the Players 1st community.



International collaboration
The event hosted participants from all over the European golf scene, including national unions, private owners and representatives from the R&A. Players 1st is constantly evolving and, slowly but surely, becoming a global organization. The conference was a closed event with invites only, and much time was dedicated to discussing the future of the industry and the important role of Players 1st in the years to come. 

A key concept of the conference was the need to collaborate internationally. As such, participants were given a great networking opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas with colleagues, while they also got a chance to dive deep into specific issues in face to face workshops.


Cultivating good club management
Additionally, the conference was an opportunity to evolve the Players 1st product in collaboration with industry leaders. The golf industry is strong in terms of dedicated players and professionals, but it is clearly facing problems with retaining and recruiting new players. For this reason, cultivating good club management is an  imperative and the conference did not fail to deliver key talking points to emphasize and discuss how to best utilize customer experience management to grow memberships and drive course utilization.


Thoughts from a member of the audience
Thomas Rovsing Lauritzen, club consultant for the Danish Golf Union, attended the event and was particularly excited to find out where Players 1st is going next. Personally, he is a fan of the platform: "Back in the day we didn't have this option, we had to go by intuition. This platform has really changed the game."

Lauritzen himself used to be a club manager and his favorite guest speaker was from Wilke Customer Agency on the subjects of taking care of new members and player segmentation. They found that it is much too common for clubs to provide inadequate one-size-fits-all introductory offers to new players. Consequently, clubs and owners must realize the need to adjust offers to fit a wider variety of player types. "Players 1st gives clubs the opportunity to act more rationally – to base their decisions on facts."

Lauritzen was very pleased with the event, including the harbor cruise dinner and the concluding golf tournament. He was positively optimistic following the event and is looking forward to working with Players 1st in the future. He was particularly fond of the international networking aspect and found that talking to colleagues about their work and ideas was quite an eye-opener: "As it turns out, we face a lot of the same problems, but we utilize many different solutions."


Next year’s conference
Certainly, the golf industry is currently facing some challenges, and Pebble Beach wasn’t built in a day, but at the inaugural Players 1st conference steps in the right direction were surely taken. Hopefully, the annual conference can be instrumental in dealing with any challenges that may lie ahead. 

Next year’s conference will be hosted by the Swedish Golf Federation and promises to be much bigger with many new participants. This time also from across the pond. In a coming article we take a look at the prospects for next year’s Players 1st Conference.



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