Saturday, February 23, 2008

End of the Boston Show

I always like to put a positive spin on things but the Boston golf Expo was positively awful. My biggest mistake was not leaving at 4:00 PM on fiiday night and letting my more than qualified GRIP staff handle the 18 people that showed up to the Seaport Expo Center in Boston. Saturday was bad, and Sunday was brutal as well. Not only was it a holiday weekend in Boston but it was alos school vacation week. I still think that there were plaenty of people in the greater Boston area for the weekend but the show was poorly advertised if advertised at all. So, Boo Hoo for all of us that paid for expensive booths (Boston is the most expensive show to attend East of the Mississippi).

GRIP had some additional issues that may cause us to skip the Boston show next year even though it is close to home and technically our "Local" show. Our booth was sold to us as "Near the manufacturers Demo Range and close to the Lady's Golf Experience." When we arrived, we quickly noticed that our booth was burried behind the Manufacturer's demo range and right in the middle of the Lady's Golf Experience. As potential customers came down the aisly they saw a huge sign that said, "Lady's Golf Experience." If the sign did not deter them, the Ping Lady's reps and the Callaway Lady reps would clearly inform them that men's clubs were the next aisle over.

Jim from Paragon Expos reminded me that this was the booth I wanted. I don't actually remember wanting a booth in the lady's section and burried behind a driving range. Jim was convinced that when he spoke to us on the phone we were elated that this booth was avaialble. The truth is that Jim would not commit space to us for almost 2 months. During that time he cut out a nice piece of space for Wildcard Golf that would have worked for us nicely. Wildcard registerd for the show well after us. We know because they told us. I am pretty sure that I am one of many who will require a good incentive to go back to Boston next year.

I would like to thank, my wife, the GRIP staff, Andy, Wendy, Gina, and Paul for helping me at the show, keeping me sane and making me laugh as we watched half the attendees get withing 7 feet of our booth and announce that "this is the lady's section! lets get out of here!"

Friday, February 15, 2008

What Next?

A UPS Trailer exploded. Guess what was on it? You got it a much larger than average GRIP Golf Iron, Wood, and Driver order.

Fire Erupts In UPS Trailer; Packages Destroyed
Posted by roboblogger 1 hr ago
A United Parcel Service trailer carrying packages caught on fire early Friday in southwest suburban Hodgkins read the rest from MSNBC

Tracking Detail

Your package has experienced an exception.

Tracking Number:
1Z 6E8 xxxx xxxx xxxxx


Exception See description below

Shipped To:

Shipped/Billed On:


9.00 Lbs

Local Time
7:00 A.M.

12:21 P.M.
12:49 A.M.
9:03 P.M.

4:02 P.M.
3:09 P.M.

Boston Golf Show

Wow, what can I say...last year it poured on the opening Friday night of the Boston Show and I left feeling optimistic because I had a few late visitors that bought from my timy 10x10 booth that only offered Hybrids, Wedges, and Putters.

Welcome to 2008, new venue, biggger booth, and two employees with me. The show was about as crowded Fenway Park in November. I remember last year you had to make a "Te Time" to get a Ping fitting. Today I saw the Pink reps loafing aroung eating pretzels like the good people at GRIP. Lets hope for a better tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Potato man

I am not sure where he came from but we had him in washington and he is in boston with us too.

Boston Golf Show

Last year was my first Boston Golf Show. I secured a booth at the last minute and had a few signs made. I worked the entire 3 days of the show by myself selling Hybrids, Putters and Wedges in a crowded 10x10 space. I rented a minivan and jammed everything I need into the van. Moving in was awful. It was pouring and cold all day and small companies with little booths and tiny vans were not welcome in the garage. I survived and had a pretty good show.

Fast forward to one year later. I now have plenty of help for the show but I loaded most of the truck myself yesterday. My local paper, The Worcester Telegram and Gazette summarized it best in their Headline "Cold, Wet, Wild." Here is a small excerpt summarizing the area by our Northborough Office and Warehouse:

"As much as 6 inches of water flooded some sections of Route 9, including the area near Bertucci’s restaurant in Westboro. Sections of East Main Street at Lyman Street and near McDonald’s also flooded. Crews from the state highway department and the Westboro Department of Public Works worked throughout the day to free clogged catch basins around town. Around 11 a.m., a water main break near Route 140 and Woodland Road in Shrewsbury didn’t help things. Police spent the day redirecting traffic through the residential area, just south of the center of town. "
With out a doubt, the worst weather to load an 18 foot truck in. Man, was I chilly and wet.

Today is a balmy 14 degrees for move-in. I have been here since 6:00 AM paying bills and getting orders ready so we can leave for move-in this morning. Anything is better than pouring rain. I have included a couple of nice pictures of 7:30 AM at our offices. It is nice to have your office over a driving range. Especially when you are in the golf business! By the way, the range is open. You can hit right out into the snow and ice from the heated bays. The grass tees are obviously closed. The Little Suzuki Samuri that you seein the snow is permanently parked in that spot. It is used as a 125 marker. It should be noted that the grass tees move around all summer so sometimes it is as close as 75 yards. When the tees are that close we hear a lot of "Look Dad, I just hit that over 125 yards!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The End of the Washington Golf Expo

The Washington Golf Show ended pretty well. We had a lot of fun, sold a bunch of clubs, ate too much, and our backs hurt.

Packing up to leave was not very smooth. On Sunday we got to the show early in order to secure a loading bay for our truck. Of course I picked the loading bay that had a broken door. Some of the staff at the Dulles Expo center would argue that I broke the door. It is no ordinary garage door it is used for loading and unloading trucks. The door is huge and very heavy. It is not electric either. It is operated using a chain. It was a bit jammed so I pulled on the chain as hard as I could and a giant spring fell off. To make a long story short, we had to load most of the truck with a 3 foot clearance. That was as far as the door would open.

Additionally, we lost a Utility Knife that we borrowed from a Union Employee at the Dulles Expo Center. The gentleman's name was "Moose". The name was actually stitched into his shirt. A male adult who has the name "Moose" gets the name for 3 reasons:

He is Big

He is nice

If you upset him (e.g. lose his knife) he will turn on you and scare you.

We offered to pay Moose for his knife. We were approached by his extremely unfriendly boss (he was unfriendly before both the garage and the knife incidents) and we offered to pay for it. We were then approached by Moose and we offered him money as well but he gave me a death stare and walked off. I am very afraid that we have not seen the last of Moose. I would have paid him double the value of the Knife.

Following the show, Me, Maureen, Mike, and Mike's staff picked up very fatty BBQ take-out and watched the Patriots lose at the Holiday Inn. I was pretty depressed about that. Apparently the rest of the country was not.

Monday, Maureen and I drove our 18 foot truck home for 7.5 hours. In typical Generation Y fashion Maureen retreated to the comfort of her IPOD Touch. I listened to talk radio (no sports) the entire way home because I am 30 something years old and possibly getting duller by the second.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

2008 GRIP Wedges & Hybrids

Here they are folks...some early pictures of our 2008 GRIP Hybrids & Wedges

Friday, February 1, 2008

Road Show

It is that time of year - Road Show! We arrived late last night in Fairifax, VA for the Greater Washington Golf Show. It was about 7.5 hours from our offices in Northborough, MA but we had to stop in Hartford to pick up more clubs from our warehouse and to ship out several orders from our surprisingly successful dead of winter/post holiday driver sale.

A lot of people came up very big for us with this show including:

  • Irene (GRIP Marketing and PR) for organizing, planning, and getting us ready for the shows. Irene planned this show with amazing detail right down to the amount of extension cord we need by inches.

  • Ken from Pin Hi golf Crafters in West Boylston, MA for building 12 sets of irons and a ton of drivers in 40 hours.

  • Steve, our club builder in Hartford for doing the same as Ken (he actually beat Ken by 26 drivers but we are not counting)

  • Maureen from GRIP for bringing a GPS and keeping me company for 9 hours of travel and packing boxes in the freezing cold outside the Hartford Warehouse.

  • John W from Ryder in Auburn, MA for a great deal on a truck for all the shows. It wasn't the most comortable truck but we got here.

  • My wife for taking care of the kids, house, and cats while I sel golf clubs every weekend until late March. Additionally she provides a ton of support for me!

  • Paul from East Coast Golf (where our office are) for always helping out when we need it.

  • The Hyatt Fair Lakes in Fairfax for providing a great place to stay at an amazing rate thanks to

  • Mike Blair for hooking us up with an amazing Driving range 10'x10'x10' for our booth and Dancin' Dogg for setting us up with a top notch indoor golf simulator for the range.

I thing that covers it. If you are in the Washington DC are we hope to see you at the golf expo.

We have to unload the truck around 9:00 AM in the rain - I hope we get into the garage. I will be posting more pictures and notes from the show...stay tuned.