Schedule of Events

Garden Center Conference & Expo

Exhibit Hall Hours:
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 – 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 29, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

ALL
9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Registration Open

Executive Summit
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Welcome Refreshments

All-Access Pass Holders Only


Executive Summit
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Your Customers are Vaccinated. Now What?

All-Access Pass Holders Only

The COVID pandemic brought unprecedented demand to IGCs as consumers stayed home, rediscovered their yards and spent more at garden centers than they ever have before. Post-COVID, what trends will disappear and which will remain? How can you maintain your growth? Join Rob Sproule as he discusses how the pandemic has influenced trends already in motion such as reliance on e-commerce, millennials' interest in gardening, the rise of localism, increased demand for plants that provide value beyond aesthetics, an emphasis on consumer service and safety, and much more.



Executive Summit
11:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Networking Refreshment Break

All Access Pass Holders Only


Executive Summit
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Growing the Family Business: Expansion and Innovation at Gullo’s Garden Center

All-Access Pass Holders Only

Growth is exciting, but it can also be a daunting endeavor. As your operation matures, what do you do when your needs outgrow your current footprint? Learn how Gullo’s Garden Center has managed three expansions as the 27-year-old garden center undergoes its fourth buildout.

Join Russell Gullo, who has worked at Gullo’s since the day it opened in 1994, as he shares what he’s learned taking the IGC from an outdoor tent in its first year to the powerhouse it is today. He’ll share what he’s learned from his experience, what fueled the growth and need for expansion, the internal business and family discussions they went through and all of the planning that went into both prior and current expansions. Bring your questions to join the conversation and learn from the Top 100 garden center’s experiences with expanding their footprint to better serve their customers and grow their own plant material.



Executive Summit
12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch

All-Access Pass Holders Only


Executive Summit
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Smart Succession Planning

ALL
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Networking Refreshment Break

ALL
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Keynote Session - Take Back Control: The Importance of Driving Trends Instead of Chasing Them

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

When it comes to keeping up with trends, are you in the driver’s seat or a passenger hanging on for dear life? Keeping up with trends in the marketplace can feel like riding a roller coaster. By the time you react and start to tap into a new gardening or houseplant trend, your customers may already be moving on. Would you rather let social media influencers determine what you need to sell then chase down that product…or would you rather control that conversation from the start? As new and inexperienced gardeners search for guidance and inspiration, now is the time to take charge and lead from the front. Leslie will dig deeper into this idea and inspire you to quit chasing trends, and take the wheel as trend setters.



ALL
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Welcome Reception/Top 100 Awards in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Registration Open

Executive Summit
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Welcome Refreshments

All-Access Pass Holders Only


Executive Summit
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Your Customers are Vaccinated. Now What?

All-Access Pass Holders Only

The COVID pandemic brought unprecedented demand to IGCs as consumers stayed home, rediscovered their yards and spent more at garden centers than they ever have before. Post-COVID, what trends will disappear and which will remain? How can you maintain your growth? Join Rob Sproule as he discusses how the pandemic has influenced trends already in motion such as reliance on e-commerce, millennials' interest in gardening, the rise of localism, increased demand for plants that provide value beyond aesthetics, an emphasis on consumer service and safety, and much more.



Executive Summit
11:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Networking Refreshment Break

All Access Pass Holders Only


Executive Summit
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Growing the Family Business: Expansion and Innovation at Gullo’s Garden Center

All-Access Pass Holders Only

Growth is exciting, but it can also be a daunting endeavor. As your operation matures, what do you do when your needs outgrow your current footprint? Learn how Gullo’s Garden Center has managed three expansions as the 27-year-old garden center undergoes its fourth buildout.

Join Russell Gullo, who has worked at Gullo’s since the day it opened in 1994, as he shares what he’s learned taking the IGC from an outdoor tent in its first year to the powerhouse it is today. He’ll share what he’s learned from his experience, what fueled the growth and need for expansion, the internal business and family discussions they went through and all of the planning that went into both prior and current expansions. Bring your questions to join the conversation and learn from the Top 100 garden center’s experiences with expanding their footprint to better serve their customers and grow their own plant material.



Executive Summit
12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch

All-Access Pass Holders Only


Executive Summit
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Smart Succession Planning

ALL
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Networking Refreshment Break

ALL
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Keynote Session - Take Back Control: The Importance of Driving Trends Instead of Chasing Them

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

When it comes to keeping up with trends, are you in the driver’s seat or a passenger hanging on for dear life? Keeping up with trends in the marketplace can feel like riding a roller coaster. By the time you react and start to tap into a new gardening or houseplant trend, your customers may already be moving on. Would you rather let social media influencers determine what you need to sell then chase down that product…or would you rather control that conversation from the start? As new and inexperienced gardeners search for guidance and inspiration, now is the time to take charge and lead from the front. Leslie will dig deeper into this idea and inspire you to quit chasing trends, and take the wheel as trend setters.



ALL
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Welcome Reception/Top 100 Awards in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Registration Open

ALL
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Networking Refreshment Break

ALL
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Keynote Session - Take Back Control: The Importance of Driving Trends Instead of Chasing Them

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

When it comes to keeping up with trends, are you in the driver’s seat or a passenger hanging on for dear life? Keeping up with trends in the marketplace can feel like riding a roller coaster. By the time you react and start to tap into a new gardening or houseplant trend, your customers may already be moving on. Would you rather let social media influencers determine what you need to sell then chase down that product…or would you rather control that conversation from the start? As new and inexperienced gardeners search for guidance and inspiration, now is the time to take charge and lead from the front. Leslie will dig deeper into this idea and inspire you to quit chasing trends, and take the wheel as trend setters.



ALL
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Welcome Reception/Top 100 Awards in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Registration Open

ALL
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Networking Refreshment Break

ALL
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Keynote Session - Take Back Control: The Importance of Driving Trends Instead of Chasing Them

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

When it comes to keeping up with trends, are you in the driver’s seat or a passenger hanging on for dear life? Keeping up with trends in the marketplace can feel like riding a roller coaster. By the time you react and start to tap into a new gardening or houseplant trend, your customers may already be moving on. Would you rather let social media influencers determine what you need to sell then chase down that product…or would you rather control that conversation from the start? As new and inexperienced gardeners search for guidance and inspiration, now is the time to take charge and lead from the front. Leslie will dig deeper into this idea and inspire you to quit chasing trends, and take the wheel as trend setters.



ALL
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Welcome Reception/Top 100 Awards in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Registration Open

ALL
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Networking Refreshment Break

ALL
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Keynote Session - Take Back Control: The Importance of Driving Trends Instead of Chasing Them

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

When it comes to keeping up with trends, are you in the driver’s seat or a passenger hanging on for dear life? Keeping up with trends in the marketplace can feel like riding a roller coaster. By the time you react and start to tap into a new gardening or houseplant trend, your customers may already be moving on. Would you rather let social media influencers determine what you need to sell then chase down that product…or would you rather control that conversation from the start? As new and inexperienced gardeners search for guidance and inspiration, now is the time to take charge and lead from the front. Leslie will dig deeper into this idea and inspire you to quit chasing trends, and take the wheel as trend setters.



ALL
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Welcome Reception/Top 100 Awards in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

Executive
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
The One Hour Strategic Plan

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Join John Kennedy as he delivers this fast-paced approach to “moving mountains” through vision, values and volition.

John’s “pebbles, rocks and boulders” program will deliver you a structured and strategic plan to help you navigate your garden center in 2022 and beyond.

Learn how to set your compass to “true north” and establish an entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) to drive traction to your team and traffic to your business.



Management
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Build Your Brand By Being the Experts

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Learn how to build your reputation as the plant experts in your community, get the word out about your garden center and your further reputation with education that’s right for your market.


ALL
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

Tech Solutions
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Technology & Solutions Session 1

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


Executive
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Session 2A

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


Management
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
How to Make Your Customers Successful Plant Parents

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

With the soaring popularity of houseplants, more and more people are bringing these living things into their homes but confused about exactly how to care for them. Googling for plant care advice tends to leave people with more questions than answers because that advice has been recycled from decades past when houseplants were treated as mere decor. Darryl brings a fresh perspective to an old hobby. His science-based, practical approach has helped thousands understand the essentials of houseplant care to become confident plant parents. Success propagates success: confident plant parents become repeat customers; plant advice that works and makes sense attracts new customers.

 

And how can we keep them coming back to the garden center? How do we better connect with a broader audience around houseplants? This session will also discuss the role of social media, how to use it effectively, and how to keep the interest in houseplants alive.



ALL
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall

Tech Solutions
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
Technology & Solutions Session 2

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


Executive
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Creating a Lean Supply Chain

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


Management
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
The Cannoli Factor of Employee Engagement

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

There are five things that motivate employees...and the funny thing is they have been the top five things for 50 years! Join John as he addresses the importance of one single word: Engagement! Learn how to turn your workplace culture into a property where your employees “want” to work and not “have” to work. Discover the value of a consistent on-boarding process, the continued success of The Great Game of Business, and the one value that employees look for out of a manager & leader.


ALL
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

Tech Solutions
2:30 PM – 3:15 PM
Technology & Solutions Session 3

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


Executive
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Story-telling Tips from a Theater Nerd: How Retail is Theater and it's Time to Play!

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

From "casting" to scripting to setting the stage, retail and theater have more in common than you might expect. Join Liz, a garden center Managing Director who came to her role with fifteen years experience in the performing arts, to learn how she translates the principles used to create captivating performances for the stage into unforgettable experiences in a retail environment. From communicating your IGC’s unique story and marketing with meaning to creating an environment your customers will want to visit again and again, you’ll learn how to engage your core audience in a way that will have them giving you a standing ovation.


Management
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
How To Do More With Less

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Attracting and retaining quality employees is one of the biggest challenges garden centers face every year. Learn how to invest in your top employees and help them make the most of their resources from staff to budgets and more to achieve great customer service, hit marketing goals and build your brand.

ALL
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

ALL
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

Executive
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
The One Hour Strategic Plan

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Join John Kennedy as he delivers this fast-paced approach to “moving mountains” through vision, values and volition.

John’s “pebbles, rocks and boulders” program will deliver you a structured and strategic plan to help you navigate your garden center in 2022 and beyond.

Learn how to set your compass to “true north” and establish an entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) to drive traction to your team and traffic to your business.



ALL
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

Executive
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Session 2A

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall

Executive
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Creating a Lean Supply Chain

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

Executive
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Story-telling Tips from a Theater Nerd: How Retail is Theater and it's Time to Play!

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

From "casting" to scripting to setting the stage, retail and theater have more in common than you might expect. Join Liz, a garden center Managing Director who came to her role with fifteen years experience in the performing arts, to learn how she translates the principles used to create captivating performances for the stage into unforgettable experiences in a retail environment. From communicating your IGC’s unique story and marketing with meaning to creating an environment your customers will want to visit again and again, you’ll learn how to engage your core audience in a way that will have them giving you a standing ovation.


ALL
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

Management
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Build Your Brand By Being the Experts

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Learn how to build your reputation as the plant experts in your community, get the word out about your garden center and your further reputation with education that’s right for your market.


ALL
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

Management
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
How to Make Your Customers Successful Plant Parents

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

With the soaring popularity of houseplants, more and more people are bringing these living things into their homes but confused about exactly how to care for them. Googling for plant care advice tends to leave people with more questions than answers because that advice has been recycled from decades past when houseplants were treated as mere decor. Darryl brings a fresh perspective to an old hobby. His science-based, practical approach has helped thousands understand the essentials of houseplant care to become confident plant parents. Success propagates success: confident plant parents become repeat customers; plant advice that works and makes sense attracts new customers.

 

And how can we keep them coming back to the garden center? How do we better connect with a broader audience around houseplants? This session will also discuss the role of social media, how to use it effectively, and how to keep the interest in houseplants alive.



ALL
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall

Management
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
The Cannoli Factor of Employee Engagement

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

There are five things that motivate employees...and the funny thing is they have been the top five things for 50 years! Join John as he addresses the importance of one single word: Engagement! Learn how to turn your workplace culture into a property where your employees “want” to work and not “have” to work. Discover the value of a consistent on-boarding process, the continued success of The Great Game of Business, and the one value that employees look for out of a manager & leader.


ALL
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

Management
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
How To Do More With Less

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Attracting and retaining quality employees is one of the biggest challenges garden centers face every year. Learn how to invest in your top employees and help them make the most of their resources from staff to budgets and more to achieve great customer service, hit marketing goals and build your brand.

ALL
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

ALL
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

Tech Solutions
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Technology & Solutions Session 1

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall

Tech Solutions
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
Technology & Solutions Session 2

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

Tech Solutions
2:30 PM – 3:15 PM
Technology & Solutions Session 3

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall

ALL
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

Executive
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Diversity and Inclusion in the Garden Center

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Join our panel for a discussion about improving diversity and inclusion in the garden industry. From creating a space that encourages gardeners of all backgrounds to representative marketing to thoughtful outreach, the conversation will touch on various ways to make employees and customers feel welcome and included.


Management
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Concurrent Session 5B

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Networking Refreshment Break

Tech Solutions
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Technology & Solutions Session 4

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


Executive
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Session 6A

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


Management
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Encouraging a Culture of Feedback

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Learn how create a company culture that values employee feedback and embraces change.

ALL
12:00 PM
Event Concludes

ALL
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

ALL
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Networking Refreshment Break

ALL
12:00 PM
Event Concludes

ALL
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

Executive
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Diversity and Inclusion in the Garden Center

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Join our panel for a discussion about improving diversity and inclusion in the garden industry. From creating a space that encourages gardeners of all backgrounds to representative marketing to thoughtful outreach, the conversation will touch on various ways to make employees and customers feel welcome and included.


ALL
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Networking Refreshment Break

Executive
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Session 6A

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
12:00 PM
Event Concludes

ALL
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

Management
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Concurrent Session 5B

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Networking Refreshment Break

Management
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Encouraging a Culture of Feedback

All-Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders

Learn how create a company culture that values employee feedback and embraces change.

ALL
12:00 PM
Event Concludes

ALL
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Registration Open

ALL
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

ALL
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Networking Refreshment Break

Tech Solutions
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Technology & Solutions Session 4

All Access and Conference & Expo Pass Holders


ALL
12:00 PM
Event Concludes