GROW Summit 2017 Tackles Marketing and Business Management

GROW-Summit-2017-Group-PhotoAttendees who gathered for Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 GROW Summit left the event invigorated and ready to continue playing an active part in building floriculture’s future. This year’s think-tank style event brought together leaders from across the green industry to deliberate on topics such as disruptive marketing, cost accounting, and Millennials, to name a few.

GROW is a cross segment initiative started in 2011 that aspires to bring together the industry’s best minds to come up with innovative solutions to help grow the industry. It focuses on five priorities for driving growth: Drive Consumer Success, Cultivate New Customers, Demand Quality, Sharpen Business Management, and Invest in the Industry. The goal is to capture the industry’s best ideas and advance solutions to make them happen.

Presenters Stimulate Discussion

Presentations sprinkled throughout the event helped encourage group discussion. Mason Day of GrowIt! kicked off the summit with a presentation on how the industry can think outside the box, and borrow strategies for success from other industries to create disruptive marketing efforts that cultivate new customers. Day challenged the group to get rid of the phrase “Because that’s what we’ve always done” in 2018, and replace it with “Let’s try it.”

Stephanie Whitehouse of Dickman Farms and Kelly Norris of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden updated the group on current industry efforts dedicated to the next generation of horticulture and what other business resources might be necessary. Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff shared a sneak peek at some of the results from the 2018 State of the Industry survey with attendees. She also brought the group up to speed on industry-wide marketing efforts.

Task Force Updates

Last year, GROW formed two taskforces to address two priorities that the group thought needed special attention ─ marketing and business management.

The purpose of the Business Management taskforce is to deliver real-world resources and expert advice to aid growers in daily and ongoing business challenges including cost accounting and control, business succession, and operation efficiency. Greenhouse Grower Senior Editor Brian Sparks gave the group a recap of the taskforce’s efforts over the last year, which included identifying potential resources to develop growers’ business management skills.

The goal of the marketing taskforce is to develop a clearinghouse of marketing resources and messages that growers and retailers can use to promote their products, businesses, and the industry at large. Managing Editor Janeen Wright talked about the Marketing Taskforce’s work to collect online marketing resources and locate them in a centralized location, as well as determine the best ways to promote industry messaging that communicates the benefits of plants.

Group Discussion Lively and Chock Full of Ideas

After the marketing and business management presentations, Summit attendees separated into five working groups to share insights and come up with ideas. Here are a few of the insightful comments that came out of the interchanges:

“If you are trying to attract the market, you want to build it on success. We need to define what success looks like.”

“We aren’t selling products. We are selling experiences.”

“Younger professionals like to have a plan. They are looking to see that there is an upward movement for them in their careers and lateral movement.”

GROW Summit 2017 Participants

Ken Aguilar, SolaWrap
Kurt Becker, Dramm, Inc.
Diane Blazek, National Garden Bureau
Gerry Bogdon, Meister Media Worldwide
Jennifer Calhoun, Benary
Bill Calkins, Ball Horticultural Co.
George Casey, Greenhouse Grower
Jim Crockett, Nufarm
Laura Drotleff, Greenhouse Grower
Tim Duffin, Ball Horticultural
Joe Gionta, BioWorks
Richard Jones, Meister Media Worldwide
Jeff Knape, Scott’s Miracle-Gro
Kendra Kovalycsik, Stockosorb/Evonik
Ken Kuhajda, OHP
Gregg Langermeier, Greenhouse Grower
Rob McHale, North Creek Nurseries
Kathy McKay, Flamingo Holland
Kelly Norris, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Sarena Robertson, Sakata Ornamentals
Andy Seckinger, OHP
Jennie Smith, Kemin
Brian Sparks, Greenhouse Grower
John Terhesh, Willoway Nurseries
Alecia Troy, Sakata Ornamentals
Heidi Warner, Nufarm
Stephanie Whitehouse, Dickman Farms
Brad Wiersum, Phyton Corporation
Janeen Wright, Greenhouse Grower
John Wynne, Stockosorb/Evonik
Gina Zirkle, AmericanHort

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “GROW Summit 2017 Tackles Marketing and Business Management

  1. I think it would be VERY wise to include some personnel from the Floral or “Flower Shop” side of the industry in your participants. Several of us do “Both” and a joint marketing effort for our “Green”. “Healthy”, “Life Experiences” products move across lines. This is especially true in the Northern parts of the country where “outdoor” gardening can be a challenge in the colder months, but floral products/designs could be “indoor” gardening.

More From Greenhouse Grower's GROW...
California Wildfires

December 9, 2017

Southern California Wildfires Narrowly Miss Most Grower Operations

Here’s an update on horticulture businesses in the areas affected by the California wildfires.

Read More
Weigela Czechmark (Spring Meadow Nursery)

December 8, 2017

Spring Meadow’s New Logo Highlights Focus on New, Colorful Shrubs

In a move that highlights its commitment to developing new, colorful flowering shrubs, Spring Meadow Nursery has unveiled a new logo.

Read More
HortScholars

December 8, 2017

HortScholars Program Now Accepting Applications for 2018

Do you know any college students currently in a horticulture-related program? This unique program gives them a chance to connect with industry leaders and make new connections at Cultivate.

Read More
Latest Stories
HortScholars

December 8, 2017

HortScholars Program Now Accepting Applications for 201…

Do you know any college students currently in a horticulture-related program? This unique program gives them a chance to connect with industry leaders and make new connections at Cultivate.

Read More
GROW-Summit-2017-Group-Photo

December 5, 2017

GROW Summit 2017 Tackles Marketing and Business Managem…

This year’s think-tank style event brought together leaders from across the green industry to deliberate on topics such as disruptive marketing, cost accounting, and Millennials, to name a few.

Read More
Photo-with-Endless-Summer-Hydrangea

November 27, 2017

Why It’s Important to Get to Know Consumers at th…

One way to learn about consumer behavior is to get boots on the ground and engage with them.

Read More
Seed-Your-Future-feature

November 9, 2017

Dümmen Orange Throws Support Behind Seed Your Future In…

Dümmen Orange has announced it will pledge $450,000 over the next three years to Seed Your Future, the non-profit organization whose mission is to promote horticulture in the U.S. and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants.

Read More

November 1, 2017

Thanks to the 2018 GROW Sponsors

There are a number of industry organizations that help make Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative a success.

Read More
Marshall Dirks, Proven Winners

October 28, 2017

5 Rules for Creating a Lifetime of Outdoor Garden Memor…

Many customers are time starved. Their most important asset is time, not money, so be realistic about the investment of both when they are buying plants.

Read More
Living Umbrellas

October 25, 2017

Why Living Umbrellas May Have a Bright Future

Sometimes innovation strikes by chance. Such was the case with David Tilley, developer of the “Living Umbrella.”

Read More
Luxflora Paris Trip

October 20, 2017

Luxflora Paris Trip Offers Insights on Trends Shaping H…

Each year, Luxflora hosts an international trip that allows participants to gain insights on trends and gather inspiration that ultimately will shape and support our industry in many ways. This year’s event took the group to Maison & Objet and Design Week in the City of Lights – Paris, France.

Read More
Steve Garvey, Dallas Johnson Greenhouses

September 23, 2017

Producing Quality Plants in the Greenhouse Starts From …

It's common for growers to make mistakes. What you learn from those mistakes is what sets you apart as a grower and where quality starts.

Read More
Quality in the Greenhouse

September 21, 2017

Two Head Growers and a Retail Live Goods Buyer Talk Bes…

Ultimately, the quality of the plants you grow will be responsible for the success of the consumer, and consumer success will ideally translate to repeat sales. That’s why quality must be a top priority for all growers, according to Brad Julian, a Live Goods Buyer for Lowe’s Home Improvement, and Head Growers Dennis Crum of Four Star Greenhouse and Joe Moore of Lucas Greenhouses.

Read More
Jan Gulley, Gulley Greenhouses

August 25, 2017

Why It’s Important to Educate and Engage the New Hortic…

Young adults entering the workforce have more professional choices than ever before, and many want to work in environments in which their work has a clear purpose for both the organization and society at large.

Read More
Seed Your Future feature

July 26, 2017

Seed Your Future Aims to Inspire Careers in Plants

Who will be the next generation of horticulturists? The answer lies in helping to change the perception of horticulture and using contemporary new language to tell our stories.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

July 8, 2017

How You Can Use Lifestyle Marketing to Sell Plants

Should we be trying to educate consumers into loving what we like to produce, or should we allow consumers to educate us into producing what they love?

Read More
Metrolina Make a Wish Greenhouse

July 7, 2017

Metrolina Builds, Decorates Greenhouse for Young Cancer…

When Michael VanWingerden and his wife Courtney heard through their work with the Make-A-Wish foundation that 11-year-old Jason wanted a greenhouse to grow vegetables in, they knew Metrolina Greenhouses could help.

Read More
Metrolina Greenhouses Dig and Swig Event

June 25, 2017

Consumers Revel in Gardening at Metrolina Greenhouses’ …

Metrolina wanted to promote plants, gardening, and creating a sense of community, so it decided to host Dig & Swig events at a local brewery.

Read More

May 23, 2017

6 Simple Ways to Acquire New Customers

Even the most successful brands need new customers if they want to grow their business, or stay profitable.

Read More
Tyler Beasley

May 21, 2017

Final California Spring Trials Thoughts From Allan Armi…

“I went home from California Spring Trials realizing that the students enrolled in our Greenhouse Management program at Spokane Community College need to experience the trials. Attending opened many doors of opportunity for me.”

Read More
Cannabis Adobe Stock feature

May 1, 2017

Why I Turned Down a High-Paying Offer to Grow Cannabis …

Young growers have passion for all aspects of organic and sustainable growing. The key to not losing them to the cannabis industry, according to Kelly Vance, a Technical Consultant for Beneficial Insectary, may be nurturing their interests in these fields by aligning greenhouse production with sustainable growing practices.

Read More