More than 9,000 green industry professionals braved the elements to participate in New England Grows 2011 held February 2 – 4 in Boston. New England Grows is one of the largest and most popular green industry events in North America.
Held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, New England Grows featured renowned industry experts presenting educational seminars and an exposition filled with a wide variety of industry suppliers with plenty of “Grows-only” show specials.
“We were truly impressed with our exhibitors, staff, speakers, and volunteers,” said Jim Abusamra, president of New England Grows. “Despite the snowstorms Mother Nature threw our way at the beginning of the week, everyone rallied to ensure that we were ready and open for business. New England Grows drew thousands to Boston and we delivered a positive experience for everyone who made the trip!”
600 exhibiting companies – more than 50 of which were new to New England Grows this year – saw foot traffic that built throughout the three-day event, as well as steady business from green industry decision-makers. Many spent time with customers who were placing orders and taking advantage of show discounts. All saw the benefit of face-to-face networking with fellow industry members.
“We were up 50% on order size and number of orders taken at this year’s show,” said long-time exhibitor Ellen Molitor of New England Pottery in Foxborough, Mass.
The new Garden Center Success seminar was a welcome addition to the New England Grows educational line-up. More than 1000 garden center professionals signed up to participate and those who attended agreed with Ed Bemis of Bemis Farms Nursery in Spencer, MA when he said, “Garden Center Success will help me improve my own garden center in real, measurable ways this year. It was awesome!”.
The well-known New England Grows’ education program impressed once again with seminars that focused on innovation, emerging trends and research finds. 2011’s top-notch speaker line-up included: David Mellor, John Stilgoe, Mark Chisholm, Patrick Cullina, Randy Zondag, Michael Raupp, and C.L. Fornari who delivered popular topics like: Bare Root Tree Transplanting, Low Maintenance Perennials, Sustainable Design, Environmentally Responsible Grasses, Lean Management, Online Marketing, and Integrating Edibles into the Ornamental Landscape.
Ask the Experts sessions, an interactive learning opportunity at New England Grows, drew a steady stream of visitors. Extension personnel and university faculty offered tips, trends, and take-aways in rapid-fire, 15-minute, educational bursts right on the exposition floor.
New England Grows is an educational partnership between the New England
Nursery Association, Massachusetts Arborists Association, Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals and Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association. Its co-sponsor network includes 40 allied green industry organizations.
New England Grows supports the green industry through annual grants to the region’s Cooperative Extension Systems. The organization also contributes to the local community through the Boston Schoolyard Initiative, a group that connects children with horticulture.
Next year, New England Grows is scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, February 1 – 3, 2012 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. For the latest information visit www.NewEnglandGrows.org, follow New England Grows on Facebook and Twitter, or call (508) 653-3009.