The Club Managers Association of Europe are delighted at the success of their recent European Club Management Conference in Marbella.

The conference took place at the beautiful H10 Andalucia Plaza in Marbella, Spain from the 18-20 November and attracted 100 delegates from 18 different countries who got to share 14 excellent and inspiring sessions, all a part of the 10 Core Competences that CMAE teach and preach.

The theme of the conference was ‘The Journey’ and delegates were able to enjoy a programme of stimulating sessions from a combination of industry experts and working club managers all sharing a journey that resonates with delegates on a personal and professional level.

On the Sunday of the conference 30 delegates travelled to La Zagaleta Golf Club for the CMAE Presidents Cup. Unfortunately, the day was curtailed by torrential rain and thunderstorms forcing golfers to retire from the course after just 4 holes, however a fantastic 5 course lunch at the clubhouse made up for the premature finish. In the spirit of finding a winner from 4 holes - Thomas Norret [Lyngbygaard Golf] - with his birdie, birdie, par, birdie run - took the honours.

Rob Hill of Global Golf Advisors kicked off the 1st day of education with a session on how to use industry data as evidence to inspire effective change at your club. Gabriel Aluisy gave an insight into industry trends and where the industry is heading whilst Arturo Moran of Toro presented on which journey will the future take for machinery. Miklos Breitner of Golf Business Monitor then presented on the Customer Journey and how to use customer journey mapping to improve service. Cindy Schoenrich of Gstaad Yacht Club together with William Winram, a fellow of the explorer’s club, gave an inspiring presentation on Transforming your Club through Ocean Stewardship and how we can all work together to improve the sustainability of the environment and ocean.

Day 2 of the conference started with a presentations from City of London Club’s Ed Plunket, who shared his journey of breaking traditions to give the club a new lease of life and Debbie Pern CCM, who gave an inspiring talk on how Deeside Golf Club overcame the devastation of storm frank.

Ross Matheson then shared the journey of the AELTC and the Wimbledon Championships and how to plan and become organised for such a big event. Mohammed Al Naimi and Michael Braidwood from Education City Golf Club presented on the value of linking your brand, vision and values to a strategic management tool and getting the team fully involved in the process.

Darshan Singh then presented on how to use change instead of fight against it and the 8 step process for leading change. To finish the 2nd day of the conference, Troed Troedson, a Swedish Future Analysist gave an insightful presentation into what the future holds for us.

On the evening of the Monday night was the conference drinks reception and dinner, where President David Roy CCM took the opportunity to present certificates to the CCM’s who had re-certified and the delegates who had gained their club Management Diplomas this year. Marc Newey CCE, Chairman of the European Club Education Foundation also lead a game of heads and tails which raised 600 euros for the ECEF which will go towards 2019 bursaries. Stuart Finlay, who was awarded the European Conference Bursary this year was presented with a certificate by Dean Calaz from Kerry London, who sponsored the award.

Delegates re-convened for the final day of the conference on Tuesday morning with Laurie Martin of Life Interrupted, a crisis management expert who explained how to simplify the emergency planning process in order to effectively prepare for a crisis situation. Norm Spitzig of Master Club Advisors set the stage for ongoing club marketing success and how to examine member satisfaction and loyalty.

Finishing the conference was Janne Willems. Janne travelled the world for two years collecting ‘beautiful moments’ relying on the kindness of strangers. Delegates learned from her astonishing and inspiring story how to build a community of trust in any environment.

CMAE Conference – from the delegates

The conference that had it all ! Michael Braidwood CCM
This year’s European conference was exceptional, it was titled ‘The Journey’ and it lived up to its billing.
We had a great variety of speaker who covered sustainability (Cindy Scheonrich) and how your club should have a sustainability mission. Cindy runs a yacht club so her interest in stewardship of the oceans is key.
We had some great anecdotal experiences from acting club managers who gave us an insight into their clubs, the change management techniques they apply. Ed Plunket of the City of London Club did an amazing exercise where he plotted the club’s activities for the last 120 years into a 24 hour clock. This showed they had being doing lunches for over 18 hours of their existence and if they don’t change and diversify their income then they might go out of business in one hour!
We experienced the amazing attention to detail of Ross Matheson of the All England Tennis Club and how knowing your history is key to developing club relationships.
Personally Laurie Martin scared the living day lights out of me on Crisis management and has ensured I bring this to the forefront of our operation. It’s one thing to have all your policies and procedures in place, but have you really trained your staff regularly on how to react in a crisis situation?
The final presenter was Janne Willems from Holland who spoke about trust and positive mind set. She has spent the last few years meeting random people and asking them to draw a beautiful moment from their life from the last week. An amazing journey she has had and she has collected over 13,000 pictures from around the world. We were lucky enough to meet her for dinner after the conference and at dinner we all drew our beautiful moments from the conference.

Cyprien Comoy CMDip

CMAE European Conference on Club Management was again a great opportunity for networking with colleagues from different countries, various clubs, including city clubs. Some very fascinating lecturers that forces us to look ahead and not so much back at our journey. In a constant evolving environment, it was great to hear from experts and visionary people. Cannot wait for the next edition.

Gabriel Sota CCM
Great journey to the CMAE European Conference at Marbella for everybody. Three networking days with the best Club Managers of Europe is something we can do just once or twice a year. Debbie Pern session was the best for me, titled “Breaking through the walls visible and invisible” was perfect to understand what is a Club and its Spirit.
When you as a General Manager (GM) get a flood at your golf course all the members, players, staff and General Manager suffer the most severe penalty. This is not one or two shots penalty, this is three months without your golf course. There is not any facility to enjoy, work or manage depending on who you are. Oh my God!. People at the club just have the Clubhouse and their own, so nobody is thinking to hit a ball, the scenary is scary.
Everybody is thinking the same question. What can we do right now for our Club?. This is the most important thing in a Club for members, staff and General Manager. A Club is a place where people meet each other to enjoy the Club, so now the Club needs all the people working together for a three months setup time.
Golf values, team work and every human goodness in every action go together every single day during three months cleaning, digging, brushing and much more labours at the golf course. When something bad happens people conect themselves very quickly to recover the damage. This is life and this is why golf can train us to recover ourselves after a bad shot to apply in life.
Another good session was Ross Matheson to build and manage a good team. The sentence “When we finish we begin” is another important issue to impplement everyday in our day to day. But for me the networking moments are the most. Every Club Manager loved to speak and share knowledge, thanks for the opportunity delegates and CMAE.

David Shepherd
To be able to get away from the office for a few days at this time of year to spend time with likeminded progressive managers who are focused on improvement is invaluable and refreshing. The lineup of speakers is a credit to CMAE and I will travel back to the club with many new ideas and thoughts consider and implement for the benefit of The Scandinavian. The presentations from Ross and Ed on Monday in particular were superb and gave a brilliant insight to non-golf clubs

Edward Plunket
The saying “there is safety in numbers” is never truer than with CMAE. As the tribe expands with every conference, MDP and event, my personal strength grows because my network grows, my career strengthens because one of my tribe can support my growth with advice and my journey becomes an adventure.

The last three days have given me new insights and belief in my own ability. My nerves on Monday morning were unwarranted and my enjoyment unhindered as I shared my experiences with colleagues and friends who were genuinely interested in my story. Listening to the varied challenges that have been overcome, to the advice that is freely given and the knowledge shared unreservedly has made me humble and truly appreciative to belong to such a group.

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