GROW Summit 2013 Focuses On Engaging The Next Generation

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GROW_SUMMIT_BeckerTravenWhitehouse_Web As an industry, we must change the mindsets of our existing and potential customers. We also need to do some rethinking of our own.

That was the prevailing message of Greenhouse Grower’s second GROW Summit. A group of leading growers (including two Greenhouse Grower Operations of the Year, Bob’s Market and The Perennial Farm), suppliers and allied organizations gathered for two days in October to discuss one of the more pressing issues facing our industry: How do we engage the next generation? And not just the next generation of consumers, but also the next generation of great greenhouse owners and managers.

A number of recurring themes and action items emerged during the two days of roundtable discussions and presentations, including:

GROW_Summit_2013_Web• Retain our current customers but also engage the next generation by targeting mothers and children.

• Drive year-round consumption by changing the “plants are forever” mindset of the consumer and create comfort with regularly changing out plants.

• Research changing demographics and create action plans for matching our product mix not just to new generations but also to growing ethnic groups.

• Spread the message that plants are a necessity in our lives and not a luxury.

• Change our focus: Stop selling stuff and sell the experience and success of the consumer.

You’ll be reading about these topics and more in the coming months as the ideas generated during the GROW Summit turn into action, both in Greenhouse Grower and in the industry.

GROW Summit 2013 Participants

Dr. Allan Armitage
Professor Emeritus of Horticulture
University of Georgia

Bobby Barnitz
Vice President
Bob’s Market and Greenhouses

Kurt Becker
Executive Vice President
Dramm Corporation

George Casey
Group Publisher
Greenhouse Grower

Leigh Coulter
President
GGS Structures

Laura Drotleff
Editor
Greenhouse Grower

Tim Duffin
Marketing Communications Leader
Ball Horticultural Company

Danny Gouge
Marketing Manager
Willoway Nurseries

Richard Jones
Group Editor
Greenhouse Grower

Jeff Kline
Aquatics, T&O Market Segment Manager
BioSafe Systems

TJ Magnan
Director of Sales
Griffin Greenhouse Supplies

Carol Miller
Editor
Today’s Garden Center

Kelly Norris
Horticulture Manager
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

David Savoia
Chief Financial Officer
OFA/AmericanHort

Ron Shepard
Sales Manager
BioWorks

Jim Sulecki
Corporate Content Director
Meister Media Worldwide

Sara Tambascio
Senior Editor | Online
Greenhouse Grower

Alice Tomasello
Territory Manager
The Perennial Farm

Lloyd Traven
Owner
Peace Tree Farm

Rick Vulgamott
National Director of Sales, Horticultural Division
The John Henry Company

Stephanie Whitehouse
Sales & Marketing Manager
Peace Tree Farm

Richard Jones is the group editor for Greenhouse Grower and Today's Garden Center magazines.
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