AmericanFarm.com

Reasons vary for exhibitors returning to MANTS

By JANE W. GRAHAM

(January 2015) Excitement is growing and schedules are filling up with things to do in the horticulture industry as the time for MANTS, the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show approaches.
The show in the Baltimore Convention Center is being held a week later this year, Jan. 14 to 16, 2105, but there’s no time to spare for many of the businesses planning to fill the 3,000 booth spaces.
Industry members will find plants and nursery stock, landscape and garden items, heavy and light duty equipment, tools, furniture and hundreds of other allied industry products. In addition to being a great place to see the latest and greatest, it's a working show. Retailers place orders to fill their needs for the coming year.
“We're attending the MANTS show, after a 12-year hiatus, because we have something big to share with the market,” Jay Hutchens, general manager of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, said in an e-mail. Their last visit was in 2003.
“When we were there last time, we were smaller and felt that we got swallowed in the mass of the show and we didn't have the impact we thought,” Hutchins explained. “We have a new service that can help landscape architects, landscape installers, landscape maintenance crews, botanical gardens, public gardens, cemeteries, colleges and universities, hospitals, Departments of Transportation, town and municipalities, etc., with their landscaping efforts. We feel that what we have to offer is a big enough impact to leave a lasting impression in the eyes of the attendees.”
Brent and Becky's is a third and now fourth generation flower bulb company with a way to plant more than 10,000 bulbs an hour, it reported in pre-MANTS promotions.
The family-owned business has been growing and selling bulbs for more than a century.  It was founded in 1900, so home gardeners, botanic gardens, parks and landscape designers have been utilizing their bulbs, their knowledge and their services for a long time.
“Stop by and see how we can help transform your spring landscape in a matter of hours, not months,” is the company’s invitation to attendees.
Jim Snyder, president of Riverbend Nursery in Riner, Va., reported in a telephone interview that his business has been attending for close to a quarter century and will be there again this year.
“It is one of the best nursery shows in the Mid-Atlantic region,” he said.  “Attendance is superior to most other shows.  The quality of attendees is very, very good.  It truly hits our target audience.”
The wholesale nursery with 50 acres in production recently added 11 investors, Snyder told the industry earlier this year.  The company is expecting expansions. It will be putting emphasis on its plants for green roofs.
Oman Inc. is returning this year after being away since the 1987 show. Orman had a display in Atlanta last year, but found it did not work for them. “We’re just taking a shot.” he said.
“We’re in the Christmas business,” Patrick Stahl, sales manager, said.
Oman Inc., a service-oriented direct importer of wholesale Christmas and Halloween decor-ations, has supplied the independent retail trade for more than 80 years.
“Our product line consists of Christmas lights, holiday lighting accessories, prelit wreaths/garlands/trees, stockings, tree skirts, decorated wreaths and garlands, pine wreaths and garlands, floral picks, figurines, decorated balls, bows, illuminated outdoor figures, nativities, tree stands, and much more.”
The Perennial Plant Association is returning to MANTS for 2015 to promote the 33rd Perennial Plant Symposium which will be held at the Hilton Baltimore July 27 to Aug. 1. The Symposium is returning to Baltimore for the first time since 1987. “The PPA MidAtlantic Region is a strong membership,” said Steven Still, executive director. “MANTS is the perfect location for the information launch for this important program.”
One event that has been held for several years in conjunction with MANTS will not be held this year. The Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association will not be putting on its VNLA Research Auction/Gala, reported Jeff Miller, executive director.  He said there is just too much going on in a short time frame.  The VNLA Foundation will be trying other fund raising method this year, Miller indicated.