The Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show (Mid-Am), scheduled for January 19-21, 2011 at Chicago's Navy Pier, will highlight peer-to-peer communication by featuring a wide array of educational and networking opportunities for green industry professionals.

Mid-Am 2011 highlights peer-to-peer communication

The Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show (Mid-Am), scheduled for January 19-21, 2011 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, will highlight peer-to-peer communication by featuring a wide array of educational and networking opportunities for green industry professionals. Like the trade show itself, Mid-Am educational sessions are designed to appeal to a wide array of professionals working in the green industry. Top business and industry speakers will present timely and relevant topics related to horticulture industry developments, human resource issues, management techniques, marketing, and much more, providing a comprehensive educational experience. From the Pre-conference Workshops to the Sustainability Zone on the show floor, horticulture professionals will find something of value at Mid-Am to add to their knowledge base. In addition, the Mid-Am Mixer and Mentoring Roundtables offer unparalleled networking opportunities to help professionals develop industry connections.

The Pre-Conference Workshops on Tuesday, January 18 offer three concurrent all-day educational sessions aimed at industry owners, managers, and leaders. Presented by the Illinois Green Industry Association (IGIA) and the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA), the three workshops cover marketing, sales and design topics. Workshop #1, “Taking Market Share in 2011”, is presented in two parts. The morning session, “Your Fastest Path to Greater Revenue”, focuses on advanced sales strategies and techniques to increase closing ratios and maximize margins through greater differentiation in areas that customers value most. The afternoon session, “Building a Referral Machine”, provides a methodology to quickly grow a more productive and enthusiastic network of referral-based opportunities. Workshop #2, “Dynamic Design—Mega Studio”, provides a hands-on experience for landscape designers to learn from some of the best design professionals in the region through four unique design “studios” covering garden design techniques. Due to the interactive and intimate nature of the program, workshop registration will be capped to a ratio of approximately 8-to-1, students to instructors. Workshop #3, “Why Hope for Profit When You Can Plan for It?”, will be presented by the Landscape Management Network on behalf of IGIA. The workshop will help registrants develop a plan for their own businesses, including pricing and employee wage systems, as well as build a new way of decision-making and management based on simple numbers.

The Cup of Success Mentoring Roundtables, presented by the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) and sponsored by Weed Man Lawn Care, is scheduled for Wednesday morning, January 19. The Mentoring Roundtables connect business owners and managers with green industry veterans to discuss hot issues, share ideas, and discover solutions in an interactive forum focused on learning and networking. Registrants may choose one topic for each of two 50-minute sessions. Session topics range from marketing, professional leadership and development, labor and employment, and business issues, among others.

The Midwinter Conference, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, January 19 and 20, offers horticulture professionals a variety of sessions arranged in topic-specific tracks covering a range of industry issues. Tracks include Sales & Marketing, Plants & Horticulture, Business Retail, Growers, Management & Operations, Sustainable Solutions, and more.

Mid-Am once again is teaming up with other industry organizations to provide career development and advancement opportunities for registrants. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities will once again offer courses from their Green Roof Accreditation Program, including Green Roof Design 101–Introductory Course on Wednesday, January 19 and Green Roof Infrastructure: Design and Implementation 201 on Friday, January 21. The Irrigation Association will be conducting classes Wednesday and Thursday. The American Society of Landscape Architects-Illinois Chapter will be offering IL-ASLA Public Advocacy, Awareness, and Policies, open to all Mid-Am attendees on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

Sustainability Zone Offers Information and Education
The Sustainability Zone, in the northwest corner of the show floor, features plants, products, services, and ideas aimed at landscape businesses to implement and promote sustainable solutions for their customers. The companies participating in the Sustainability Zone are knowledgeable and experienced in the “green movement” and provide information, resources, and know-how to help horticulture professionals stay abreast of the latest developments. The following companies will be exhibiting their sustainable products and services in the Sustainability Zone:

Ball Horticulture Company, Booth 529
Frick Services, Booth 532
Halloran Mowerworks, Booth 530
HSU Greenhouse and Landscape Supply, Booth 533
Illinois Brick Company, Booth 630
Live Roof, Booth 531
Midwest Groundcover/Midwest Trading, Booth 628
Stihl, Booth 528

Networking Offers “Peer to Pier” Connections
The Mid-Am Mixer, a free networking event, returns for a third successful year offering green industry professionals a great way to “Mingle with Your Peers at the Pier”. The Mid-Am Mixer, open to all Mid-Am registrants, is scheduled for Thursday, January 20, 2011 in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Mid-Am Mixer provides an atmosphere conducive to forming and building industry relationships, obtaining valuable information, and connecting with like-minded individuals.

Program and registration details on the 2011 Mid-Am Trade Show can be found at Early registration discounts are available for educational options; the discount deadline is December 28, 2010. Visit the website for a wealth of information on all aspects of the 2011 Mid-Am Trade Show, including full schedule and details of educational sessions, exhibitor locator tools and information, travel and lodging, and much more.

Mid-Am, America’s premier horticultural trade show, is sponsored by the Illinois Green Industry Association (IGIA), the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA), and the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) and is governed by a Board of Directors, which directs the show, its programs, and activities. Mid-Am was developed by green industry professionals, for green industry professionals. Unlike for-profit trade shows, proceeds from the show go back to IGIA, ILCA, and WGIF to support a sustainable green industry. For more information, contact Mid-Am at 1000 N. Rand Road, Suite 214, Wauconda, Illinois 60084 USA. Phone: 847/526-2010; fax: 847/526-3993;;