The inaugural Tennis Owners & Managers Conference, presented by the Tennis Industry Association in Charleston, S.C., in early April, brought together leading experts in club and facility management and programming to provide practical information and key “takeaways” to help tennis facility owners and managers become more competitive and profitable.
A capacity crowd of more than 100 attended the conference, which was held at the Charleston Marriott. They heard from speakers and panelists that included top executives at national tennis and health companies, successful tennis club owners, experts in legal and financial matters, a promotion expert, a retail consultant, club membership and compensation experts, tennis programming and coaching professionals, sports research experts, and more.
“The Tennis Owners and Managers Conference offered a full schedule of important topics that tennis clubs and facilities are dealing with today,” said TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “We were thrilled to not only have such high-level presenters, but also to get the degree of audience participation throughout the day-and-a-half conference. The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re looking to expand this conference for 2015 as we consider dates and location.”
The keynote speaker at the conference was Cliff Drysdale, an ESPN commentator, former pro tennis player and 2013 inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Drysdale also owns a tennis management company, Cliff Drysdale Tennis, which now manages 26 locations. He hit on a theme that other speakers and attendees also addressed when it comes to managing a tennis facility: “The main challenge is getting the right people, the right professionals, the right leaders,” Drysdale said. “It takes a very special talent. You have to deal with the politics of the club, you have to be able to teach, and more than anything, you have to be a promoter.”
In addition, TIA “Software as a Service” business partners were on hand to speak with attendees about some of the latest technology available to help club and facility management. Conference participants also attended an evening session at the Family Circle Cup women’s professional tournament.
“The TIA’s Tennis Owners & Managers Conference was the most beneficial convention that I’ve ever attended,” said Heather Silvia Killingsworth of Silvia Tennis Academy in Alpharetta, Ga. “It was first-class all the way around.”
“The conference was wonderful,” said Kim Wedige, general manager of the Green Bay (Wis.) Tennis Center. “I made some great contacts and new friends in the tennis industry. I hope the TIA continues with this conference.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the topics, presenters, networking and venue,” said Jeff Gocke, chief operating officer of TennisCT of Fairfield, Conn.
“The subjects addressed were very informative and will certainly help those who attended,” said Gilles Garceau, vice president of Sani Sport Inc. of Canada. “With the quality of the presenters, I have no doubt the TIA will be able to repeat the success of this year’s conference.”
“We were very pleased to have Doug Cash of Cash Flow Tennis consulting on the planning of this year's T.O.M. Conference,” de Boer said. “There clearly is a need for this type of information and networking among tennis facility owners and managers, to help them better compete in this business environment.”
For more information about the Tennis Industry Association, visit TennisIndustry.org.