Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Jersey was Great!

I would like to thank North Coast Golf Shows and the good people of NJ for a fantastic golf show. We had a great time and we sold a lot of clubs. We also had a lot of fun. As usual our trip was not without a lot of adventure. I borrowed my parents GPS system unfortunately, it does not have "Truck" settings on it (I drove in an 18 foot truck). I was probably 12 miles from my hotel and the GPS tried to put me on the Garden State Parkway- NO TRUCKS ALLOWED. I got lost in a somewhat scary part of NJ while trying to follow the Garden State parkway from the side roads. I was not in an Ask Directions kind of place either. I finally reset the GPS to get me to the hotel avoiding toll roads and I was on my way.

As usual the weather was horrible when we went to set up. It was snowing when we left our hotel on Friday morning to get to the Garden State Expo Center. The friendly desk clerk at the Crown Plaza in Clark NJ
directed us to the wrong convention center. We went to the NJ Boat Show. While trying to figure out the name of our expo center we also ran over a giant muffler with our truck and got it lodged under the truck and I tried to get our paperwork for the show out of the back of the truck during the snow storm. Once I retrieved it I could not close the truck again. I was frustrated, frostbitten and furious by the time we got to the Garden State Expo Center. Fortunately, our friends at Linksman golf were just about finished unloading when we arrived so we got their loading bay.

Once we were set up we raced back to the hotel for showers and a quick lunch. I would have settled for fast food but Maureen, our star employee made us order a massive take-out order from TGI Fridays. We arrived at the show 20 minutes after the general public. Nobody stole anything because NJ people are good people.

On Saturday we had a thief. Our booth was right by the loading bays for trucks. The good news was easy move-in and easy move-out and plenty of storage for us. The bad news was one of the bays was broken and it was cold - the broken door could not be closed. There was a semi-backed up to the broken bay to secure it. Some scumbag decided to sneak back there and lower golf clubs out of the broken bay into the parking lot(he was squeezing them between the semi and the wall). We caught him before he could get too much out and I think we retrieved everything. However, we did not catch him. I am a big fan of North Coast Golf Shows but I was a bit upset with them on this one. They had a very nonchalant attitude about what happened. It was a bit like, "wow, that is rally bad.... a thief huh?" "You are right, we should have put a security guard there." However, for the rest of the show they basically avoided me, made no effort to repair the door or secure the area. They did not want to touch the subject or converse with me about what happened. They did point out all of the other unsecured areas that surrounded my booth!

The final challenge of the show was on Sunday morning when somebody hit 8 perfect toe shots with our driver demo. By perfect, I mean off the toe, around the nets and directly into the PVC pipe that holds up our driving range. On the 8th shot the PVC pipe cracked and the range came tumbling down!

All that aside- getting lost, crime, broken driving ranges etc. we had a great time in NJ. We had fun at the show, we enjoyed the people and our truck was pretty empty on the ride home. Apparently NJ loves GRIP and we love NJ!


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