With so much having gone on at the GCMA 2023 Conference, here are a selection of highlights and takeaways from people who were there to experience it for themselves The GCMA 2023 Conference provided learning and networking opportunities aplenty, and there was no shortage of memorable moments. Several attendees spoke about their experiences at this year's Conference, and here's what they had to say... Conference highlight JR Jones, GCMA President: "Owen Eastwood's speech was absolutely outstanding. I've heard many, many people speak and he just hit the spot with his. He showed a three-minute video and I must be getting old and soft, but I got quite emotional. If I was in one of the teams being advised by him, I'd be buzzing when I went out to play." Gareth Macklin, Managing Director, OBBI: "It was two years ago that we stepped into the golf industry and to be at the GCMA Conference, meeting customers and presenting an award is an honour and a privilege. We've had such a warm welcome from everyone." Warren Ryan, Club Manager, Newport GC: "It's my first Conference and I've enjoyed so much about it. The venue is great, the speakers have been fantastic – listening to the likes of Owen Eastwood and the teams he has worked with was really impressive." James Maclean, General Manager, Bognor Regis: "The theme of team culture has been perfectly placed. From what we've been through with Covid, and the increased awareness around mental health, it couldn't have come at a better time." Alex Woodward, Chief Executive, Walton Heath: "Getting a chance to spend two days with my peers who are also members of the GCMA. I don't want to detract from the keynote speakers at all because they're amazing, but the peer-to-peer learning opportunities are equally amazing." Ben Driver, Chief Executive, Royal Blackheath [below]: "For me as a mentor to be asked to be involved in the judging and interviewing for the Support Manager of the Year award was a highlight. For this to be the first year that Support Managers have been recognised in this way meant a lot. I went away from those interviews so enthused – there are some really talented Support Managers out there." Something I learned Ben Driver, Chief Executive, Royal Blackheath: "I enjoyed the session on employee engagement facilitated by Kevin Fish. The topic of surveying employees came up and I haven't done that before, but I absolutely will be doing that now so that's a big takeaway for me." Alex Woodward, Chief Executive, Walton Heath [below]: "How clubs big and small face many of the same challenges, and how it can be quite a lonely and isolated job at times. General Managers work with the board and the staff, but we're not members of the board and we're the most senior member of staff, so it can get a bit difficult. That's where having this peer support structure is so important." Gareth Macklin, Managing Director, OBBI: "The value of networking is...
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