Over 160 engaged club managers, leaders and industry professionals were brought together by the CMAE this week for the 2020 European Conference on Club Management for three days of virtual education and networking.

The event, which is held annually by CMAE, attracted a record number of delegates for the event with a truly global presence as 28 countries were represented.

Day 1 of the conference gave CMAE members the opportunity to participate in meetings and learn about CMAE’s future plans and membership initiatives. Later on in the day the conference was officially opened with special guests Mark Bado, CMAA President, James Burns, CMAE President, and Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A who presented on participation, how to grow the game of golf and The R&A’s Women & Golf Charter designed to get more women into golf and the industry.

Day 2 of the conference took place on a specialised online conferencing platform which allowed delegates to move around over 4 different floors and interact with each other. Nine seminars also took place covering subjects from the 11 core competencies of club management, including membership and marketing, food & beverage, social media, facility maintenance and leadership, all presented by a range of industry experts and current club management professionals including 12 Certified Club Managers.

Four keynote sessions also took place during the day, with GGA Partners Rob Hill presenting measuring leadership success, André Van Hall talking about Change Management, something he knows very much about having to adapt to change when he went blind, Arnaldo Cocuzza CCM who spoke about specialised knowledge, desire and persistence and the ups and downs of a career of 30 years in the club industry and “attitude amplifier” Vincent Phipps, who gave us 6 strategies to amplify our communication as we transition into 2021.

On day 3, delegates had a choice of six specialised workshops to attend before the conference closing session took place that evening, featuring Vito di Bari, an innovation designer and futurist who presented his thoughts on how technology will evolve and the future impact on clubs. Finally, to close the conference CMAE Director of Education Torbjorn Johansson along with Saudi Golf’s COO Ed Edwards and Darshan Singh talked more about the ambitious joint project recently announced between CMAE and Saudi Golf with the aim to create future club leaders and national certified club managers in Saudi Arabia.

Delegates on the conference platform

Andre van Hall presents on Change Management

Feedback from those attending the conference has been exceptional with many delegates commenting that they had been inspired by the presentations and had come away from the conference feeling energised and re-connected with the tribe despite not being able to meet face to face.

“Gatherly was a great medium to host the conference on Tuesday and the fact that it was available throughout the 3 days enabled some great networking – catching up with old colleagues and finding new ones!” said Les Durno, General Manager at Cruden Bay Golf Club.

Steven Troup, Director of Instruction at Golf Saudi said “In a time of a great amount of global change and unprecedented challenges, CMAE tackled it head on. Bringing together a collection of fantastic keynote speakers and holding an exciting, thought provoking educational three day seminar that worked perfectly through the online platforms. Practicing what they preach, and truly embracing the change and turning it into a positive.”

Also commenting was Fraser Jervis CMDip who said “2020 has been a truly awful year for everyone, therefore, being able to meet with like minded individuals, gaining knowledge from experienced industry professionals and taking part in very worthwhile productive workshops was a real shot in the arm.
Never underestimate the power of communication or the ability we all have to enrich each other’s lives just by being there. I reacquainted old friendships, made new ones and have been energised by the 3 days.”

Finally, Joyce Burnett also added “CMAE deserves every plaudit following its first 3 day virtual conference which brought foresight through innovative, thought provoking presentations and collaborative learning. 3 days which will energise me into 2021!”

Commenting was CMAE’s Director of Education Torbjorn Johansson. “We took a risk this year with holding our conference online and delighted that we did because it was a tremendous success. We did well to replicate the interaction of the tribe that would usually be done in person at a conference and the delegates appreciated that. We had a programme of valuable, inspirational and insightful sessions and the feedback from everyone attending has been incredible.”