The 47th annual Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore felt like an early kick-off to spring, not just because of the networking that took place, but also due to the unseasonably warm mid-January weather. Covering more than 300,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space at the Baltimore Convention Center, the event took place Jan. 11–13, 2017.
MANTS welcomed more than 11,300 total registrants (including exhibitors) to this year’s show, including a record-breaking 10,000+ people who had registered by the end of the first day of the show alone. These attendees, who gathered to do business, network, and learn about the newest green industry trends for 2017, had the opportunity to visit 952 exhibiting companies spread out over 1,536 booths. In addition to exhibitors, 3,600 non-exhibiting/buying companies were represented on the show floor.
“Everyone here at MANTS would like to thank our partners, hosts, sponsors, attendees, and exhibitors for making 2017 another wonderful year on the MANTS floor,” says Vanessa Finney, Executive Vice President of MANTS. “This year’s show recorded the highest attendance in eight years and had an exhibitor retention rate of 93%; to me, these are indicators of the health of our country’s horticulture industry, from the source of input to final product sale. It also means that MANTS is achieving our mission to connect buyers with sellers to facilitate business. We felt a positive and enthusiastic flow of energy throughout this year’s show and hope this sets the tone for the industry in the remainder of 2017.”
Many exhibitors said they certainly noticed the high attendance, especially on the first day of the show.
“We had many conversations with growers asking us about what’s new and what types of technology they should be looking at,” says Rod Bramley of Bellpark Horticulture, which includes technology brands such as Visser NA and NewLux Horticultural LED Lighting.
Other highlights of the event included:
• A networking reception for members of “Emergent: A Group for Growing Professionals”
• Another reception highlighting the achievements and next steps for the Horticultural Research Institute
Each year, people from across the country, and around the world, travel to Baltimore to take advantage of MANTS’ horticultural marketplace. In 2017, MANTS attracted attendees and exhibitors from 45 different states and representatives from 16 various countries (including the U.S.) and the territory of Micronesia.