Schedule of Events

Garden Center Conference & Expo

08:30 AM – 06:00 PM

Garden Center Tour (additional fee)
Event Function

Pre-show activities include a garden center tour that will include stops at several stand-out Minneapolis operations. Keep your eyes out for details —space is limited, and last year’s tour SOLD OUT.

CLICK HERE for more information.

09:00 AM – 06:30 PM

Registration Open
Event Function

09:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Welcome Refreshments
All-Access Event Function

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Squeeze the Orange! Creating a Sales-Driven Culture
All-Access
With the IGC trends of today showing a reduction in the number of transactions, the trend of tomorrow must be making the most of every customer interaction. From creating your “Five Star Standards” to a laser focus on maximizing the interaction with your customer is the best way to combat the trend of sagging revenue. “Up-Help” and “Guarantee Success” are a few of the many tools John will bring to this dynamic and fast-paced workshop. This is not about “aggressive selling” but more of a way to create conversations or drive community building. It’s not selling … it’s creating an opportunity to buy!
John Kennedy
Speaker John Kennedy Owner John Kennedy Consulting View Bio

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Creating Customer Experiences
All-Access
Retail is becoming more about experiences than ever before and the new generations of IGC customers are looking for community. Today’s garden centers need to create multiple access points for customer experiences that speak to their interests. In this session, Rob will discuss how to turn your garden center into a town square where customers come for community, how to bring online and offline experiences together to create multiple access points and how to create an event that’s more than a class or workshop, but a community-building experience.
Rob Sproule
Speaker Rob Sproule Co-owner Salisbury View Bio

12:15 PM – 01:30 PM

Networking Lunch
All-Access Event Function

01:30 PM – 02:30 PM

All Access Workshop 3
All-Access

01:30 PM – 02:30 PM

Dive Into Garden Centers Across The Pond
General Session
Take a virtual tour through some of the UK’s biggest and best garden centers to get an in-depth look at innovations across the pond. Longtime consultant Bob Marley, who has worked with some of the highest-grossing garden centers in the UK, will take you on a journey of best practices throughout each business, including marketing, financial planning, amenities and more. The session will also explore what makes each physical location successful from the parking lot to the cash register. Delving into specific numbers, you’ll not only take away best practices for your company, you’ll understand why they work.
Bob Marley
Speaker Bob Marley Consultant, Speaker & Horticulturist View Bio

02:30 PM – 03:00 PM

Networking Refreshment Break
Event Function

03:00 PM – 04:30 PM

Keynote Session
Keynote

04:30 PM – 05:00 PM

Garden Center Top 100 Awards Presentation
Event Function

05:00 PM – 06:30 PM

Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall
Event Function

08:00 AM – 06:00 PM

Registration Open
Event Function

08:00 AM – 09:00 AM

Networking Breakfast
Event Function
Osceola Ballroom Foyer

09:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Taking the Fear Out Of Talking Tech
Executive

From SMS to AI to data analysis and more, there are exciting opportunities for garden centers on the market. But how do you navigate this new world of technology and feel confident in your investments? In this session, Katie Elzer-Peters will translate computer-speak into language we can all understand. By examining examples of tech opportunities in our industry, you’ll walk away from this session feeling confident about exploring how new tech can improve your business.

Katie Elzer-Peters
Speaker Katie Elzer-Peters Founder and CEO The Garden of Words View Bio

09:00 AM – 10:00 AM

The Right Staff
Management
It’s harder than ever to find reliable staff members who can help your business thrive. In this session, you’ll not only learn unconventional avenues to look for employees, you’ll learn new ways to help them thrive in their roles at your garden center.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall
Event Function

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM

Merchandising & Solutions Session 1
Merchandising & Solutions

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Concurrent Session 2A
Executive

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Concurrent Session 2B
Management

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall
Event Function

12:30 PM – 01:15 PM

Merchandising & Solutions Session 2
Merchandising & Solutions

01:30 PM – 02:30 PM

Concurrent Session 3A
Executive

01:30 PM – 02:30 PM

Survey Says! Leadership Development for Existing and Emerging Managers
Management
This unique workshop invites the participants to take a Self-Assessment Survey on their current leadership capacity at the beginning of the session, and then follow along with John as he discusses the top core competencies of successful leaders. The audience members will be able to compare their score to others, find blind spots to address and chart a course for leadership development into the future.
John Kennedy
Speaker John Kennedy Owner John Kennedy Consulting View Bio

02:30 PM – 03:30 PM

Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall
Event Function

02:45 PM – 03:30 PM

Merchandising & Solutions Session 3
Merchandising & Solutions

03:30 PM – 04:30 PM

Concurrent Session 4A
Executive

03:30 PM – 04:30 PM

Content Is King
Management
Join garden center pros and GardenComm members for a panel on the importance of creating engaging, unique and educational content for your customers. Hear from freelance content creators and internal garden center staffers about how to find your IGC’s voice, stay on message and give your customers the confidence they need to keep on gardening. Plus, you’ll hear from professional content creators about how they work with garden centers that outsource blogs, newsletters and more. You’ll leave with the inspiration and tools you need to consistently provide information that establishes you as the expert in your market.
 
C.L. Fornari
Speaker C.L. Fornari Writer, Speaker and Host The Garden Lady View Bio

04:30 PM – 06:00 PM

Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall
Event Function

08:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Registration Open
Event Function

08:30 AM – 09:00 AM

Networking Continental Breakfast
Event Function

09:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Social Media Strategies
General Session
Learn the ins and outs of catering your social media content to platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more with this panel of experts. You’ll discover new ways to think about connecting with your customers, finding your voice and planning your social media schedule to reduce stress when it comes to consistent posting.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Networking Refreshment Break
Event Function

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM

Merchandising & Solutions Session 4
Merchandising & Solutions

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

General Session 2
General Session

12:00 PM

Event Concludes
Event Function