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Interactive floor plan helps prepare for MANTS visit

By CAROL KINSLEY

The Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), the “Masterpiece of Trade Shows,” returns to Baltimore Jan. 11 through 13 for its 41st year. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.
A new feature on the show website, www.mants.com, is an interactive floor plan which allows attendees to minimize time searching for booths they want to visit and maximize time spent conducting business. The floor plan of the 300,000 square feet of exhibit space is available year round for pre- and post-show shopping, planning and research needs. You can use it to search for MANTS exhibitors by company name, product, service, key word or country. Users can create their own exhibitor lists online, save it and return to use and update it as often as they like.
Also available online are maps that show parking lots and hotels.
MANTS was incorporated in Maryland early in 1970. Its co-sponsors are the state nursery and landscape associations of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. There is now a long list of companies who sponsor the show in various ways.
The show is governed by a board of appointed representatives and has been managed by Quercus Inc. (formerly Akehurst Management) since its inception.
The first trade show was held in Williamsburg, Va., in January 1971 and the second in 1972 at the Hunt Valley Inn, in Cockeysville, Md. Moving from one state to another among its co-sponsors, MANTS was held several more times in Hunt Valley and three times at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. The January 1980 show was held in Norfolk, Va. Beginning in 1981, due to the show’s consistent growth in size, popularity and attendance as well as a limited amount of convention space in co-sponsoring states, MANTS has been held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md.
MANTS 2011 marked a modest increase in attendance, with a total of 10,432 paid registrants, vs. 10,200 for the 2010 show.
Of those completing a survey, 74 percent indicated they had visited MANTS previously. As for purchasing power, 47 percent of those surveyed indicated they were the final decision maker; another 30 percent said they make recommendations affecting that final decision.
There were 969 exhibiting companies displaying their wares in 1,530 booths last year, utilizing all the halls of the Convention Center to capacity. The buyers in attendance represented 3,298 different companies.
In light of the recent economic situation, the 2011 show was considered to be quite successful by show management, exhibitors and attendees. According to MANTS Executive Vice President Vanessa Finney, “We have received a great deal of positive feedback from our exhibitors; you could feel the energy on the show floor and the mood was upbeat and encouraging and while for many companies, it can take months to know the real results of the show, we do know that a lot of attendees were placing orders, not just looking.”
MANTS is recognized as the premier, private green industry marketplace for finding plants and nursery stock, landscape and garden items, heavy and light duty equipment, tools, furniture and hundreds of other allied industry products. Companies exhibit and industry members attend because they know that MANTS is the place to buy, shop, meet, see, be and be seen every January. MANTS is one of the largest private trade shows serving the horticulture industry, which is why industry members say that MANTS means business!
Whether you are an exhibitor or attendee, buying, shopping or just looking, this is the one show that is all about you, organizers say. Companies and industry members alike know where they’ll be in January, because “If it’s January, it must be MANTS!”