Pennsylvania’s premier green industry showcase, the Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (PANTS), positions itself for greater visibility in East Coast markets next year with a move to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, show producer MAC Events announced.
PANTS will make its Philadelphia debut on July 31- Aug. 1, 2013 in its 41st year as a key event for businesses responsible for designing, constructing and maintaining outdoor spaces. The show already is the biggest summer event for retail garden center owners, nursery stock growers, and landscaping professionals along the metropolitan corridor from Massachusetts to Virginia. Its new location at the downtown venue in 2013 gives the event a prominent place in a city known for its progressive commitment to all things green.
“It is an honor to welcome the Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show to the City of Philadelphia next summer,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I’ve set a goal for our city to become the greenest, most sustainable city in America. Welcoming PANTS, the premier summer show in the region for nursery, garden and landscape professionals, establishes Philadelphia as a destination for people interested in all things green and growing. I look forward to visiting the show next year, and hopefully, for many more years to come.”
Earlier this summer, MAC Events of Spring Lake, NJ assumed responsibility for producing the show in a partnership agreement with the show’s founder, the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA). The change in venue confirms MAC Events’ commitment to revitalizing PANTS as a catalyst for the region’s multi-billion dollar green industry as well as the PLNA’s 750 member-businesses.
“We want to put the sizzle back in this show and make it an event that no one in the green trades will want to miss,” said MAC Events partner Kevin McLaughlin. “Attendees who come to PANTS will not only find new ideas, products and educational programs on the show floor, but also will be able to plug into resources that have made the city a hot spot for horticultural innovation for more than 250 years.”
In step with the growing importance of the green trades, PANTS has seen steady growth since 1973, moving half-a-dozen times to accommodate expanding attendance. The latest move is in line with MAC Events’ plan to put the show in the top tier of industry events nationwide, company representatives said.
“The PLNA is excited about the move to Philadelphia,” said Jim McKenzie, chairman of PLNA’s board of directors. “All other successful and nationally important green industry shows are located in major metropolitan cities and Philadelphia has always been a great historical and cultural hub. In recent years, the local scene has just exploded around the convention center with opportunities for socializing and networking beyond the show.”
The city was on the map for plant lovers even before American declared its independence. Native son John Bartram, widely acknowledged as America’s “first botanist,” founded the oldest surviving botanic garden at his Philadelphia farm, which is still open to the public as an historic site. Bartram sold trees to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson for their estates, published the nation’s first nursery catalog in 1783 and with his son William operated a nursery business that thrived for three generations.
Philadelphia also is home to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, its blockbuster Philadelphia Flower Show (the oldest in the country) and the Horticultural Center at Fairmont Park, built in 1976 for the Bicentennial. Other notable sites in easy striking distance from downtown are the famous Longwood Gardens and the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum, two focal points for horticultural collections and research.
“We are thoroughly delighted to welcome PANTS to Philadelphia in 2013,” said Jack Ferguson, president & CEO, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau “As a City committed to green initiatives, Philadelphia and our LEED-certified Convention Center is an ideal choice for PANTS as the show’s attendance continues to grow.”
With the shift to Philadelphia, the show is more centrally located in its prime market area with easy highway and other mass transit options for attendees.
“Moving PANTS to Philadelphia will be a key to making the show a must-see event,” said Gregg Robertson, president of the PLNA. “Philadelphia is the horticultural center of the United States with more than 40,000 green industry companies in the mid-Atlantic region alone.”
MAC Events has been producing high-quality business and consumer shows throughout the United States since 1969. A key element of the company’s mission is giving the green trades a strong public profile and practical business resources with trade shows that draw all elements of the industry to a strategic forum.
In addition to producing flower and garden shows for more than two decades, MAC Events in 2010 introduced NJ PLANTS, a trade show and conference that revitalized an event originating with PLNA’s Garden State counterpart, the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. The company also is expanding into professional event management for organizations, associations and businesses in the region and other U.S. markets. For more information, call 732.449.4004.