The Green Industry Conference (GIC), held in conjunction with GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America, will debut its new Learning Lounge concept this year in Louisville, Ky., during the conference, Oct. 23–25, 2013.

The Learning Lounge, which is included in the GIC conference registration, will be located at the Kentucky Expo Center and will feature more than a dozen short, 20-minute “TED-talk” style sessions, a “Genius Bar” where people can talk with experts and network with colleagues, and the PLANET Marketplace, featuring PLANET publications for sale.

The concept for the Learning Lounge’s compact education sessions is based on research that showed that people want quick, top-line education that is jam-packed into shorter sessions that provide only the most important information on a particular topic. The sessions are being described as TED-style talks.

“We continue to analyze the market and look for successful trends in education,” said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, CMP, PLANET CEO. “We want to deliver education that is targeted for company managers and owners which will help give them the tools and the edge they need to grow and improve their businesses.”

The Learning Lounge will also double as a networking lounge, encouraging members to convene, network, and share ideas throughout the conference.

Also this year, 50 percent of the regular conference education sessions will be led by speakers who are new to GIC. The new speakers, top entrepreneurs and business experts, will focus on providing the best marketing, sales, financial, and human resources strategies for growing and improving landscape industry businesses.

GIC attendees not only get top educational and networking opportunities, but registration also includes admission into GIE+EXPO, the largest landscape industry and outdoor equipment show in the United States, as well as the Hardscape North America show.

GIC sessions are approved for PLANET Landscape Industry Certified recertification at 1 CEU per hour of instruction attended. PGMS and HNA educational sessions also qualify toward recertification.

The Louisville Marriott Downtown in Louisville, Ky., will once again be the headquarters hotel for GIC attendees. Visit to find housing information and to register for the conference, or call the PLANET office at 800-395-2522.