by TERESA SCHIFFER
From August 24-26, Central Florida landscapers, nursery growers, and other professional horticulturalists will gather to network, pick up valuable information about industry trends, and be inspired by new products and plants at The Landscape Show. The annual trade show is for industry only and not for retail buyers. It is organized by the Florida Nursery, Growers, and Landscape Association.
Trade Show Manager Sabrina Haines gives a rundown of what to expect at the show:
“The theme is ‘Connect with Nature,’ and we’ll feature Conversation Corners, Knowledge College, an Opening Day Reception, Tapped In for under-40 professionals, Cool Products Awards, the inaugural FNGLA Book Club, and a career fair. Plus, we’ll have over 700 booths.”
“This is the first year for the Book Club,” Haines explains. “We’ve had one other Book Club meeting, but this will be the first one at a show. They post it online, and there’s a podcast, and there’s a group that will get together every so often at events.”
Thousands of attendees convene each year to meet with other experts in the field and browse a vast array of ornamental plants, trees, ground cover, mulch and planting media, and landscaping equipment exhibited. There are opportunities for networking, educational sessions, and a career fair for students interested in learning about horticulture career paths.
Knowledge College sessions will be offered throughout the day on August 24 and 25. A full-day, hands-on workshop aimed at green industry professionals and taught by Richard Ludwig, Ph.D., “Designing the Environmentally Responsive Landscape: A Nature Approach,” will begin at 8:30 a.m. on August 24. Other 90-minute sessions will focus on a variety of topics, including landscape safety, pest management, water conservation, successful business practices, and more.
“At Nature’s Best Hope/How Plants Help Sustain Nature, Doug Tallamy from the University of Delaware will be talking about the steps we can take to help reverse declining biodiversity, which is kind of a burning topic for our industry right now,” Haines says.
There will be a Wedgworth Leadership Institute Alumni Meeting from 3 to 4 p.m. on August 24, and the first day of the convention will end with an Opening Day Reception at 5 p.m.
On August 25, the 15 most popular products among industry buyers will be promoted at the Cool Products Awards Presentation at 1 p.m. Younger professionals are invited to mingle at the Tapped In Reception from 5 to 6 p.m. on August 25. The event will wrap up with a Career Fair from 10-11 a.m. on August 26, followed by the Book Club meeting at 11:30 a.m.
The venue is the West Building of the Orange County Convention Center at 9800 International Drive in Orlando. The Landscape Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 24 and 25, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 26. Attendance badges are $35 for the entire convention.
You can register ahead of time by visiting the website: www.thelandscapeshow.org.