Fall greetings to everyone. I am sure many of you are awfully glad to have the summer of 2020 behind you. Some of the driest conditions in more than 25 years affected many areas of the northeast. Golf on the other hand has had some of its highest numbers in years because of the pandemic. This has added to maintenance challenges but resulted with some clubs being in a better place financially. With all these challenges, a determination of cutting out a trade show for our 24th conference and show had to be made and was the last thing we wanted to do. We have spent lots of time discussing alternatives, if we could hold it, if the convention center opened, if restrictions were eased, if attendees would support it, if exhibitors would come, if the hotels would be open, if, if, if, if, if,…… just too many ifs.
The decision was made so to give the foundation a chance to focus efforts on preparation on a virtual conference. This made sense and helped to bridge the gap of the uncertainty of the pandemic. So, we announced that we would attempt a two-day program of one-day of turf seminars and a day of education on shorter subjects. We are planning to offer credits, to cover a lot of subjects, and to draw on the local and national turf experts to ensure the highest quality of education program we could construct. We have had lots of discussion over how it will be offered. We have decided that using Zoom would fill our needs. So, the new plan is to bring our education conference to you via Zoom, into your office or to your home, or wherever you might be the first week of March of 2021. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and will find the education line-up will be valuable to your efforts and by participating you will not miss a beat! This virtual event will not be the new normal, but just a needed adaptation in a challenging time for 2021
Please watch for a “Save the Date” postcard coming out in the next few weeks. That will give you some of the information to put on your calendar. We then hope to communicate to you the full program, the pricing and other things pertaining to your participation. A brochure will be out and our website will be updated in early December. Online registration will open December 15th. We will have several seminars including a 2-hr. Sports Turf seminar on Tuesday, March 2. Seminars will be 1-4 hrs. in length and include credits if warranted. We will then offer a full day of education on Wednesday, March 3 just like we do at the show. These topics will be ½ or 1hr in length with 4 tracts planned: Golf, Sports Turf and Grounds, Lawn Care/Landscape and Equipment Technicians. Again, we will be offering credits for recertification in the Turf Industry for all New England States. We are also planning an online silent auction for Research! We are excited to bring to our attendees’ great speakers, important topics, fair prices, and easy access. Keep an eye on your mailbox soon!
Gary Sykes, Executive Director