Joe Copeland and Gregg Tengerstrom first met in the 1990s when Copeland took golf lessons from Tengerstrom. The two met again when Copeland coached Tengerstrom's son in baseball.
Both avid golfers, the two formed Tenco Events in 2011 and have hosted the Tinley Park Golf Expo for the past seven years, adding the Northern Illinois Expo at the Lake County Fairgrounds in 2016.
"We hosted our first expo wanting to create an event where golfers and nongolfers could learn about products, vendors, resorts -- everything golf related," Copeland said. "That first show was a great success and we're ready for our 2018 expos coming up in February."
Tenco Events' Tinley Park Golf Expo will be held Feb. 9-11 at the Tinley Park Convention Exposition Center. More than 120 golf-related vendors will host booths at the weekend event many with giveaways and demonstrations.
"I've been playing golf since I was a kid," said Tengerstrom, a PGA golf professional. "I've been teaching golf for the past 39 years and it's great to be able to share the game that anyone can learn and enjoy."
The Northern Illinois Golf Expo will return to the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake Feb. 16-18. The Grayslake expo showcased nearly 100 vendors and brought in 6,000 attendees during the three day event.
"We had a great response to our inaugural event last year and we're working to make it even larger this year," Copeland said. "The Chicago area is a golfing mecca and it's great to be able to bring together so many golf related businesses so they can talk to their customers one on one."
A number of sponsorships are available for both shows with complete details on the company's website at www.tencoevents.com.
"Sponsorships are a great way to be a part of a fun, family oriented event," Tengerstrom said. "We have a number of returning sponsors and vendors and are always welcoming more."
A variety of golf related vendors participate in both shows including golf apparel, equipment, resorts, lessons and training aides. Vendors promoting health and fitness, golf resorts, area golf courses and other related businesses also participate.
Sponsorship and vendor information for the Northern Illinois Golf Expo can be found at northernillinoisgolfexpo.com.
"When you open our websites, people are greeted with an invitation to sign up for our mailing list," Copeland said. "We don't sell the emails, we let people know what's coming up, about ticket promotions and share news about the expos as we look forward to next February."
U.S. Department of Defense employees, in particular those from the Great Lakes Naval Base, are admitted for no charge.
"We have reached out to the folks at Great Lakes to let them know that all military, with valid Department of Defense IDs, are admitted for no charge," Copeland said. "We want to thank those serving at Great Lakes for their service and give them a fun break."
Tenco Events is also inviting expo area businesses to join its support of Caring Patriots. Businesses that would like to be listed among Tenco's supporters for Caring Patriots NFP Inc. are invited to donate $100 or more to be listed on the recognition banner inside each event.
"Caring Patriots have been feeding veterans for almost 10 years," Copeland said. "This is a not-for-profit group that started feeding less than 20 vets and now feeds more than 1000. We want to do what we can to help them."
Donations of $100 or more, made payable to Caring Patriots, and made through Tenco Events will be recognized.
"We like to do as much as we can to thank and help veterans," Tengerstrom said.
Information about sponsorships, vendor space and helping the Caring Patriots is available by calling Copeland at (708) 752-6061.