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PANTS, Master Nursery Conclave ‘co-locating’

By CAROL KINSLEY

The Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (PANTS) will celebrate its 40th anniversary July 31 thru Aug. 2, 2012 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, Pa. Join thousands of green industry professionals at the summer’s only East Coast green industry trade show. See live demonstrations of the latest plants, products and services. A special feature this year is the “Ultimate Backyard,” displaying the best that the green industry has to offer in a backyard created right on the show floor!
Master Nursery Garden Centers and the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association  have announced that they will be co-locating their respective major member events in 2012 – Master Nursery’s Conclave and PLNA’s PANTS show. The conclave will be held July 30.
Management of both organi-zations believes that bringing these two events together will be advantageous to everyone involved.
Bill Jameson, CEO of Master Nursery Garden Centers, said, “Scheduling our conclave jointly with PANTS will make it easier for our members to participate in both of these important events. When we took a look at partnering with PLNA, it just seemed so logical. Our members will have a private day of education and networking on July 30th, and then attend PANTS the following three days. We are confident that combining our efforts to promote one event will increase attendance at PANTS and benefit PLNA, the vendors and attendees.”
Gregg Robertson, president of PLNA, said “We are excited to have the Master Nursery members and vendors joining us at PANTS for their annual conclave this July. We believe that this partnership will help both Master Nursery and PLNA better serve our independent garden center members.”
The conclave will be held from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., including a Master Nursery member-only luncheon, at the Radisson Hotel Valley Forge. Sessions will include how to utilize social media to drive traffic to your garden center. Host Cameron Bonsey from Coast of Maine will cover how to make your own videos and post them on the Internet, thus being able to reach new markets you haven't been able to before. Jonathan Pedersen from Bailey Nurseries will host a session on upcoming trends in the industry and how you can take advantage of them to increase sales in your garden center. The final session will be an open discussion on the Master Nursery Garden Center Garden private label programs to include Garden Elements, Bumper Crop and more.
In the afternoon at the Radisson, attend TGC Academy. Spend an afternoon with Kathryn Dager, a consultant who has advised companies as diverse as Coca Cola, J.C. Penney and Crate & Barrel. Her passion lies with helping independently owned retailers create exceptional customer service through their sales team. Join Dager for an exciting, hands-on presentation that will transform your understanding of what you and your staff are capable of.
TGC Academy at the Conclave is open to everyone. A registration fee applies. Visit www.todaysgardencenter.com/tgcacademy for more information and to register. Register now; seating is limited.
Want to hear more of what Dager has to share? TGC Academy paid attendees receive a complimentary pass for PANTS where they can see her live on the PANTS trade show floor as she shares training and customer service tips from her highly popular training program "People Power - Essential Skills That Turn Your Payroll Into Profit."  She will discuss two major themes from her People Power series: Customer Service Skills and Coaching, Mentoring and Management Skills.
More than 400 exhibitors are expected again this year at PANTS which is purported to “have everything for nursery and greenhouse growers, independent retail garden centers and landscape contractors.”
What will you find at PANTS?
Garden center representatives will find:
• New plants that will drive sales.
• Seasonal merchandise that will keep customers coming back.
• Products that will boost your average customer ticket.
• Ideas that will make your garden center the "go to" place for the outdoor living life style.
• New vendors that will help grow your garden center.
Landscape contractors will find:
• New products that will boost your average job size.
• New sources for hard-to-find plants that will set you apart.
• Ideas that will help you fulfill your clients' outdoor living dreams.
• New vendors with products to increase your profit margins.
• New services to extend your season and improve cash flow.
Success at PANTS hinges on more than just showing up. Whether you want to maximize new leads, write orders, or retain existing customers, the ultimate goal should be to connect with the buying audience. That connection does not happen just by walking on to the trade show floor; it takes months of pre-show marketing, planning and preparation to maximize your company’s investment and ensure show success.
Demonstrations will be offered by Penn State Extension on several topics, including beneficial insects in turf, Douglas fir problems, IPM choices for turf managers, pesticide license and laws affecting applicators, pesticide regulation updates, solving landscape weed problems, turf weed management and diagnosing insect damage. Exhibitors offering demonstrations include Cambridge Pavers, PA One Call, CST Products, TGC Academy, Imperial Nurseries, Techo-Bloc, Ed London Wreath Co., Belgard Hardscapes, Florian Tools and Agdia Inc.
PLNA is a trade association representing Pennsylvania's $6.8 billion green industry. Its 750 member landscape contractors, retail garden centers, wholesale nurseries and greenhouses produce outdoor living environments that improve economic value, air quality, water quality and human health.
Master Nursery Garden Centers is a national cooperative of approximately 650 independent garden centers, working together to provide the finest plants, garden products and services to its members and their communities.
For schedules, floor plan and registration information, visit online at www.pantsshow.com.