Whether you are a first-time Cultivate attendee or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to be prepared before you make the trip to Columbus, OH, for one of the floriculture industry’s largest events. Before your bags are packed and your tank is full of gas (or your seat assignment on the plane is confirmed), here are 20 things to plan ahead for prior to departing.
20. Build a Schedule For Yourself
The last thing you want to do is walk into the newly renovated Greater Columbus Convention Center and then decide what you want to do first. Look through the educational talks that are scheduled, as well as the list of exhibitors, and map out everything you want to attend or see. But make sure there are also some holes in your schedule, as unexpected meetings may pop up frequently.
19. Download the Cultivate App
The new and improved Cultivate App is now available for download for Apple iOS devices and Android devices. Users will notice smooth integration with the Map Your Show Calendar and saved exhibitors. Keep everything you need to know about Cultivate in the palm of your hand.
18. Explore the New Layout of the Convention Center
The Greater Columbus Convention Center has been home to Cultivate for many years, and this past year it underwent somewhat of a facelift. As a result, the Cultivate experience may seem brand new. Check out how AmericanHort has taken advantage of the upgraded facility.
17. Attend a Saturday Tour
Cultivate visitors can kick off their first day by joining their peers on a nursery learning tour, floriculture learning tour, and an urban farm tour. Later in the day, check out the 700 annual and perennial varieties on display at The Ohio State University Cultivar Trials.
16. Sign Up for the CareerUP Workshop
A career in horticulture is amazing, but it also comes with some unique challenges. It can be tough to figure out how to grow a career once you’ve mastered growing the plants. To address this problem, AmericanHort has introduced CareerUP, a program designed to give young horticulture professionals the tools for successful entry-level management. For an extra fee, this day-long workshop on Saturday will offer advice from leading minds in the industry.
15. Attend as Many Educational Sessions as Possible
Whether you’re looking for the latest information in pest management, crop production, technology, marketing, or new varieties, the Cultivate’17 educational program is stacked with presentations from experts in the field.
14. Kick Off Your Sunday With the Luxflora Flower Run
When you pack your bags for Cultivate’17, don’t forget your running shoes! The second annual Luxflora Flower Run will kick off the start of Cultivate’17 on Sunday morning, July 16 at the picturesque Scioto Audubon Park.
13. Get a Morning Jolt With the Sunday Keynote Speaker
In “The Energy Bus,” Jon Gordon, a best-selling author and business consultant, will share the secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive thinking that leads to true accomplishment — at work and at home. Everyone faces challenges. And every person, organization, company, and team has to overcome negativity and adversity to define themselves and create success. No one goes through life untested, and the answer to these tests is positive energy — the kind of positive energy consisting of vision, trust, optimism, enthusiasm, purpose, and a spirit that defines great leaders and their teams. You will learn how to create more success in your career, workplace, teams, and home, and enjoy the ride of your life.
12. Carve Out Time for the Trade Show
With hundreds of exhibitors packed into several rows, the trade show at Cultivate can be daunting. Take a close look at the list of companies at the show, and make notes on who you need to connect with.
11. Get a Seat at the Town Hall
One of the most popular sessions each year at Cultivate is the Town Hall Discussion. It’s always a lively event, and this year you can check out the upfront and personal panel discussion and get various perspectives on consumable goods and how they’re changing the industry. Be prepared to think, consider, and discuss while getting the big-picture view of where the industry is headed.
10. Check Out the Women in Horticulture Panel Discussion
Join a panel of women representing a variety of different roles and careers to learn about the opportunities and challenges for women in horticulture. The discussion will be moderated by Greenhouse Grower magazine Editor Laura Drotleff.
9. Win a Free Copy of “Light Management in Controlled Environments”
Each day during Cultivate’17, the Greenhouse Grower/Meister Media Worldwide booth (#2625) will be giving away one copy of “Light Management in Controlled Environments,” a resource edited by Dr. Erik Runkle and Dr. Roberto Lopez of Michigan State University that brings together the latest findings from scientific studies geared toward advancing the science and application of lighting for specialty crop production. Event attendees will be able to register to win a copy, and winners will be selected a half hour before the end of the show each day.
8. Review the Newest Products and Varieties
Cultivate debuts hundreds of new products and new plant varieties every year. Come explore the latest innovations and the hottest new plants on the market.
7. Find the Best New Retail Products
If you’re a grower-retailer, The Garden Center Group is inviting you to walk the trade show floor and pick out the new products you think have the best chance to make consumers turn their heads when they walk into a garden center. The Retailers’ Choice Awards, co-sponsored by AmericanHort and The Garden Center Group, will be presented on Monday, July 17 at the Cultivate’17 Live Stage on the show floor.
6. Watch Out for the Greenhouse Grower Team
Greenhouse Grower will have a full slate of editors at Cultivate. If you happen to run into one of us on the trade show floor, in an educational presentation, or just in the main concourse of the convention center, be sure to say hello, and tell us how the show is going for you. You can also follow our team on Twitter and Facebook, where we’ll be posting live updates.
5. Learn More About the State of the Industry
During Monday morning’s keynote, Ken Fisher, AmericanHort President and CEO, will discuss key green industry trends and efforts from AmericanHort to navigate the new political environment. Craig Regelbrugge, Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Research, will give his “Inside Washington” perspective on the new political order and outlook on horticulture industry policy priorities, from workforce to tax and small business issues. Finally, AmericanHort Chief Economist Charlie Hall will report and explain current economic indicators, policy implications, and help set the stage for the best strategic thinking for the rest of the year.
4. Find Out What Columbus Has to Offer
Your visit to Columbus doesn’t have to be limited solely to Cultivate’17. The Columbus region is one of the fastest-growing areas in the Midwest, home to one of the country’s largest universities, the nation’s foremost research organization, 15 Fortune 1000 companies, the No. 1 zoo, No. 1 science center, and even the No. 1 ice cream. Set aside some time to walk through downtown Columbus (hint: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a must-see).
3. These Work Days Don’t End at 5:00
The trade show may close at 5:00 on Sunday and Monday, but that doesn’t mean your day is over. From tours of the OSU Cultivar Trials and the Franklin Park Conservatory, to the Cultivate Block Party and the Interior Plantscapes Award Celebration, there’s plenty to do in the early evening. Speaking of that …
2. Join Us at Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence
Greenhouse Grower’s Evening Of Excellence has become an annual tradition for Cultivate attendees. Last year’s event, where the Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence and Grower of the Year Awards were announced, brought nearly 400 members of the floriculture industry together to recognize and celebrate achievement in growing, breeding, and marketing. The 2017 Evening Of Excellence, which takes place starting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 17, in the Union B Ballroom (formerly Ballroom 2) of the Columbus Convention Center, will once again shine a spotlight on the top new varieties that emerged from this year’s California Spring Trials, celebrate excellence in marketing new varieties, and recognize industry achievement in breeding and advancing new varieties, as well as feature head growers and greenhouse operations that are paving the way for a great future for the entire industry.
and finally …
1. Don’t Forget to Follow Up on Your Cultivate Experience
During the show, you’re undoubtedly going to take a lot of notes during the educational talks, and collect plenty of business cards and product information from the trade show. Don’t let all that great information sit in the corner of your office when you return home. Follow up with the suppliers you talked to, and consider how you can apply the knowledge you gained from the presentations toward your own business. And if you miss something, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In the day and weeks following Cultivate’17, Greenhouse Grower will feature articles and information from a variety of educational sessions, tours, and attractions during this year’s main event. Check back to GreenhouseGrower.com for the highlights.