Coming to Biloxi October 13-15, 2015
Q. What organizations are involved with the Deep South Turf Expo?
A. The Alabama Turfgrass Association, Mississippi Turfgrass Association, Alabama Golf Course Superintendents Association, Gulf Coast Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Louisiana-Mississippi Golf Course Superintendents Association. We welcome participation from all over the southeast, but these are the five founding organizations.
Q. Why is the Deep South Turf Expo forming?
A. Every organization has been feeling the struggles of the economy. We are no different. Everyone wants more bang for their buck; that includes our exhibitors, sponsors and members! With a regional turf conference we can bring in the top educators to provide the highest quality educational program for all turf managers. Exhibitors can reduce their travel costs and man-hours while reaching more customers. Sponsors can also market to a larger customer-base with a regional show. Everyone wins; plus the more successful the show the more each founding organization will benefit financially. The most important reason is to offer networking opportunities that will span over a four-state region…not just in your state and/or organization. You will be able to reunite with college buddies, share success stories with peers outside your “competition zone” and make new friends and business contacts!
Q. How is the Deep South Turf Expo organized?
A. The Deep South Turf Expo is a new non-profit organization. It has its own board, bylaws, articles of incorporation, bank account and tax filing requirements.
Q. Who is on the Board of the Deep South Turf Expo?
A. The Board consists of the following:
President Stephen Miles, CGCS, The Preserve Golf Club (LMGCSA)
Vice President Ken Edwards, CSFM, City of Gulfport (MTA)
Secretary-Treasurer Glenn Hedden, Town of Loxley (ATA)
Jeremy Sutton, Montgomery Country Club (ATA)
Tom Luchner, Turf Tenders Lawn Care (ATA)
Tres’ Wilkinson, South Dallas Turf (ATA)
Wayne Bassett, Beck’s Turf (ATA)
Josh Quinn, Perfect Turf Lawn Solutions (MTA)
Jeremy Stevens, The Preserve Golf Club (MTA)
Chris Hussey, Hussey Sod (MTA)
Simon Parkin, CGCS, Lakewood Golf Club (GCGCSA)
Mark Langner, CGCS, FarmLinks Golf Club (AGCSA)
Q. How are the proceeds from this event going to be used?
A. Since this event will be taking the place of the Annual Conferences for ATA and MTA (which are major funding sources for these organizations) and replacing Annual Meetings of the AGCSA, GCGCSA and LMGCSA (which are profitable but not the major funding source for these groups), the Board decided to make sure all the income from these events were secured. A five-year average income from the ATA and MTA Conferences will be the paid respectively, then an even split of 20% for all organizations will be paid after ATA and MTA’s financial obligations are met.
Q. Why are we going to Biloxi, MS?
A. The Deep South Turf Expo required several factors to be considered when choosing a location: adequate space for a tradeshow, educational meeting rooms, hotel sleeping rooms and a place attendees would want to travel too. The selection committee looked in all four states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi). Biloxi had everything! The Mississippi Coast Convention Center has more meeting and tradeshow space than we will ever need (no growing pains), The Beau Rivage has beautiful guest rooms and offered us a $99 room rate, Biloxi has beautiful beaches (October is a beautiful time of the year to be at the beach), casinos for our high rollers and other venues that we plan to use like golf courses, schooner cruises, sports complexes, etc.
Q. Is Biloxi the permanent home for the Deep South Turf Expo?
A. We are not sure at this time, but it will be our home for 2015 and 2016.
Q. How far is Biloxi?
A. Drive time to Biloxi from the following cities:
Destin, FL 3 hours
Jackson, MS 3 hours
Birmingham, AL 5 hours
Huntsville, AL 6 hours
Shreveport, LA 6 hours
Memphis, TN 6 hours
There is also the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport that is served by American, Delta, United, US Airway and Sun Country airlines.
Q. What is going to be offered?
A. The Deep South Turf Expo will feature a large indoor tradeshow where all industry suppliers are welcome to display their goods and services. We have plenty of room for greens mowers to sod harvesters! We will offer two days of specific turf management educational sessions which will include breakout sessions for golf course superintendents, lawn care operators, sports turf managers, sod producers and landscapers. You will be able to earn pesticide certification points (from all southeastern states), GCSAA education points, STMA education points and Certified Crop Advisor points. We will host the annual business meetings for all hosting organizations as well as the Alabama Turfgrass Research Foundation. We’ll have a silent auction in the tradeshow where you can score great deals on trips, sporting equipment and turf products. We’ll offer networking opportunities like a golf tournament, sporting clay tournament, Schooner cruise, tour of sports complexes and a Surf ‘n Turf dinner. Bring your family; the Beau Rivage has a remarkable pool and spa, and the beautiful beaches offer all sorts of adventures, like jet skiing, parasailing and more!
Q. What is the conference schedule?
A. Tuesday, October 13
8 am – 4 pm Exhibitor Move-In
12 pm Golf Tournament, Sporting Clay Tournament, Schooner Cruise, Sports Field Tour
6 pm Expo Grand Opening Reception
Wednesday, October 14
8 am – 5 pm Expo Open
8 am – 12 pm Educational Breakout Sessions
12 pm Lunch in Expo
2 pm – 4 pm Annual Business Meetings
5 pm Silent Auction Closes
6 pm Surf ‘n Turf Dinner @ Beau Rivage
Thursday, October 15
8 am – 12 pm Educational Breakout Sessions
8 am – 12 pm Exhibitor Move-Out
12 pm Conference Adjournment & CEU sign-ups
Q. What dates have been secured?
A. October 13-15, 2015 and October 11-13, 2016. Don’t worry, we planned around the Green Industry Expo and the Sunbelt Expo in October. For our Sports Turf Managers and Golf Course Superintendents, this is a perfect opportunity to attend a regional show, especially when your national shows are on the west coast and travel budgets are limited!
Q. How can I register?
A. Exhibitor contracts have been mailed already. The conference brochures will be mailed in early summer. In the meantime, check out our website at: www.DeepSouthTurfExpo.org for updates and on-line registration opportunities. Go ahead and book your hotel room at The Beau Rivage by calling 1-888-567-6667 and tell them you are with the Deep South Turf Expo to get the $99 room rate.