AmericanFarm.com

MANTS exhibitors: ‘Yes, we’ll be back again!’

By CARYL VELISEK

With the 2012 MANTS fast approaching, many repeat exhibitors are preparing materials for their booths. Some of the newer exhibitors at the show offered comments about their experiences at past MANTS shows at the Convention Center in Baltimore.
Mike Kern of Atlantic Tractor in Cecilton, Md., will be going back for his fifth year at MANTS in 2012. He has made many contacts through MANTS, he said.
“Actually it takes me about three months to call on all the customers I see at MANTS,” Kern said. “Everyone is in one room and many exhibitors bring their salesmen and we all walk around, talk to each other, and make contacts.”
The Cecilton facility is one of 11 Atlantic Tractor locations in the Mid-Atlantic region. The company serves not only professional landscapers but home owners, agriculture, commercial applicators and construction contractors.
Atlantic Tractor will occupy two side-by-side booths at MANTS, 1421 and 1423.
Brian McCall is with Bobbex Inc., which has had a booth at MANTS for six years. McCall was also enthusiastic about the number of people his company comes in contact with at the show, especially many they do business with throughout the year.
Based in Monroe, Conn., Bobbex is a private, family-owned and operated company that has manufactured environmentally friendly products since 1989. It offers a wide range of solutions for pest problems, including Deer Repellent, Animal Repellent and Goose Repellent.
McCall said his company does some sales at MANTS and the contacts they make at the show are very important to them. The cost is worth it, he continued.
“MANTS is a very good show. We like the time of year it is held when we are looking forward with a lot of optimism and high hopes for the coming season,” he added.
Bobbex Inc. will be at booth 2797.
Rosa Batista, who is with ForemostCo Inc. in Miami, Fla., said her participation with MANTS is well worth the cost.
ForemostCo Inc., deals in young plants, liners, cuttings and seeds for the nursery industry, and Batista, who will be a second time participant this year, said it has opened up a whole new market for them on the East Coast.
“There has been a lot of interest in what we have to offer,” she said. “The people with MANTS do a great job and everyone is very helpful.”
Founded in 1987 as Foremost Foliage, a distributor of tropical foliage cuttings and liners, ForemostCo. expanded its product lines to include landscape, ornamentals and flowering products. Worldwide partnerships allow ForemostCo to offer quality products developed to provide growers with higher profit margins in an increasingly competitive marketplace. In August 2011, ForemostCo. partnered with Klasmann-Deilmann to add peat substrates to the product mix.
Look for ForemostCo at booth 457.
Thomas Morin, president of Gro-Mor Inc. in Adams, Mass., said he has been trying to get into MANTS for years and finally did last year.
“They do an excellent job,” he said. “There’s a lot of traffic, which is good, and they are very comparable to other good shows.”
Gro-Mor is an innovative company developing products to handle and dispense small quantities of granules, powder, chemicals, fertilizers and seeds. This year’s booth will feature Paver Placer, equipment that makes using pavers and blocks for patios, walkways and architectural stonework easy, especially if you have to replace individual blocks that have already been set in place.
Gro-Mor will be at booth 467.
Lorrie Turner of Willow Run Greenhouse Corp. in Culpeper, Va., has been a speaker  at Chesapeake Green meetings several times. Willow Run is a wholesale distributor of plants and flowers in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., area, offering a large selection of tropical foliage plants.
Turner, who will be at MANTS for the second year in 2012, said the exposure is well worth the cost.
“It’s been a good experience for us. The traffic is good and we get to talk to new and existing customers. It’s good for our local business,” she said.
Look for Turner at Willow Run’s booth, number 42.
Another exhibitor who will be at MANTS for the second time is Ken Marlin of EllePot USA/Blackmore Co. Inc. in Belleville, Mich. He said his company, which deals in plug trays, pot carriers, and other essential garden items, comes to MANTS to get exposure.
“We see many of our customers there and all the other exhibitors, too. We feel it’s important to support the show.”
EllePot USA/Blackmore Co. will be in adjacent booths number 2593 and 2595.
Acorn Farms Inc., of Galena, Ohio, is a five-year exhibitor at MANTS, and does a lot of shows, Anne Quinzer said. Compared to other shows, MANTS is one of the better ones, she added.
“It’s a fairly large show,” Quinzer said, “and it has generated sales for us. Cost is reasonable and there are a lot of people there. We see a lot of potential customers at the show and we are trying to get into the market in the area. it’s definitely worthwhile for us to be there.”
Acorn Farms is such a believer in the value of the show that it has booked three adjacent booths: 1623, 1625, 1627.
The Mid-Atlantic Grower doesn’t make sales at MANTS, but the newspaper has been there for many years, representing American Farm Publications. Look for the Mid-Atlantic Grower at booth 641.