Vendor Day At Osuna Nursery Draws Gardeners And Builds Vendor Relationships

Osuna Nursery Vendor DayThe New Mexico-based Osuna Nursery invites all its vendors to meet its customers one day a year, giving customers access to deeply knowledgeable representatives, and giving vendors a chance to meet the public in a way not usually available to them. This year will be the third time Osuna hosts a vendor day. So we chatted with Vanessa Sanchez, Osuna’s Marketing Director, to find out how the event works and what changes the team will be making this year.

Q:How many of your vendors do you invite?

A: We invite quite a few — from tree and shrubs, to bedding flowers, to soil menders. It requires a lot of follow up. Last year we invited the whole list of vendors, about 30 to 40 vendors. Only about 7 to 10 showed up. Some it was scheduling, so we try to set it up early. Even though the event is in June, we’ll be inviting them by the end of the January. We also invite area garden clubs and all our customers.

 

Q: How does it work?

A: We normally hold it during peak hours, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on a Saturday (this year it will be on June 4). The vendors are there just to give our free information for anyone who would like it. The customers who attend want advice on their gardens, to meet and to talk to experts who can help them decide what they need to do. We’re on a 6-acre property, and we rent tents and place a table and chairs under each tent for the vendors. They are allowed to brand the tent area however they like to represent their company. Our customers can walk around the property to visit each tent, which are mostly clustered together.

Hardy Boy booth at Osuna NurseryThe other thing we’ve done is to ask for vendors to donate products for us to give away as prizes during the event. Last year, we got 100 to 200 donations. We had enough products to give something to every customer that weekend. We placed jars at each register, and the customer would draw from the jar, and would see what they won. It could be a fountain, a four pack, perennials, or some tools. We had an employee dedicated to distributing the prizes. It was a lot of fun. Everyone likes to win free things.

Q: Are you planning any changes this year?

A:  I think we’re going to attempt having a podium where vendors can do presentations. They would be give 5- to 10-minute talks about plants during the day. That gives our customers a chance to know what kind of expertise each vendor has, so if one has a question about trees, they can go to the Monrovia booth later on. We invite garden clubs, too, so I think someone from each club would work well as speakers, too. To draw attention to the talks, we’d want to give away prizes from the podium.

Q: How do you market the event?

A: We also do online calendars. We go full force and get the word out. There’s a few different ways to promote: Facebook, email blasts, our website, handouts, and just telling people about it. We have good relationship with master gardeners in town, and they are a group that’d be most interested in our vendor day. They’re doing extra curricular activities in the green industry. More traditionally, we’ll advertise in the paper occasionally. The most successful way is word of mouth and handouts.

Radio station at Osuna NurseryLast year, we had a local soft-rock radio station set up a tent in our parking lot and it did a live broadcast. It’s live and they’re talking about your store. They gave away pizza and prizes. It drew some people, though their main draw were the give-aways. This station has a mainly female audience, so it is a good audience.

Q: What do you think makes this work so well?

A: I think every year, we get better at it. It’s an outside event, so picking the right time of year is really important. Customers won’t come if it’s windy, if it’s too hot. June is a good month for it, as it’s still a good temperature.

Another advantage of holding it in June is it brings in people after our spring. Our peak time is March to May, so June is right at the end of the season. Holding it then means we have a little more time to dedicate to this event and to continue getting people interested in gardening.

Another reason these work is that the vendors are really interesting. They normally have a fun back story about one or more of their plants. They can tell how this rose got this name, and another got discontinued..And these kind of stories fit in nicely to a program we call Osuna University. We have free classes from 10 to 11 on Saturdays from March to June. So this event correlates with that.

And, of course, the prizes are a big draw. We also want to bring everyone in the green community together, so different plant groups get to know each other.

Q: What advice would you give to others who want to host a similar event?

A: Planning and prepping is key. And communication. And a lot of work. I think it’s a good event to plan, it brings your community together, and that alone makes it worth it. As a bonus, it’s good to build your relationships with vendors.

I would suggest listening to the advice you get from your vendors. From all their suggestions, we’ve tried to implement something each year. It was really windy the first year, so we found a different place to set up the tents. We also learned to work with vendors with products that need a little more time. If you have heavy products, it’s best if they’re prepared before the event to reduce labor.

One of the suggestions we got was to allow vendors to speak, and I’ve already mentioned how we’re going to do that this year. One of the other suggestions we’re considering is to give our customers a worksheet that they can use to get a signature from each vendor. We have to figure out how do you make that worksheet,

I think the donations were excellent for the success of our vendor day. We even had product left over, and we were able to donate the excess to the community.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Retailing...

September 27, 2016

Kitchen Counter Gardening Leads Garden Media Group’s Annual Trends List

This year's list includes several items around healthy living and eating, from gardening indoors year-round, to "forest bathing."

Read More
bruce-butterfield-and-ngs-image

September 27, 2016

Bruce Butterfield, National Garden Survey Researcher, Dies

The man who headed up the National Gardening Survey for the past 35 years, Bruce Butterfield, has died. He was 67 years old. Butterfield’s work with the National Gardening Survey gave the green industry a reliable tool to understand consumer gardening practices and spending. Bruce Butterfield started his career as the Market Research Director at the National Gardening Association in 1978 and continued that same work until his death on September 5 as the Research Director at GardenResearch.com. “These many years of experience doing market research about gardeners and gardening trends gives him a unique understanding of who gardeners are, what they need and want, why they buy the products they do, where they shop, how gardening trends have changed in the past, and where they are headed in the future,” his bio on GardenResearch.com reads.       Butterfield was also behind What Gardeners’ Think and the Environmental Lawn […]

Read More

September 26, 2016

How Even An Overworked Plant Retailer Can Predict Consumer Trends

Years ago, I read an article about Pottery Barn and the women who were making it a success. It was eye-opening to realize that a glossy, national chain like Pottery Barn used to buy products in a similar way garden retailers do. There was one section of that article that really caught my imagination. It was the profile of Celia Tejada, the woman who moved Pottery Barn from buying products from outside vendors to designing their own products. When Tejada joined Pottery Barn, she instructed her entire staff to begin keeping an eye out for things they liked, no matter how minor. So if they were at a restaurant with friends, or walking along a street and something caught their eye, they were to either buy it or photograph it and place it in a room set aside for these kinds of inspiration. When it came time to select themes for the […]

Read More
Latest Stories

September 27, 2016

Kitchen Counter Gardening Leads Garden Media Group̵…

This year's list includes several items around healthy living and eating, from gardening indoors year-round, to "forest bathing."

Read More
bruce-butterfield-and-ngs-image

September 27, 2016

Bruce Butterfield, National Garden Survey Researcher, D…

The man who headed up the National Gardening Survey for the past 35 years, Bruce Butterfield, has died. He was 67 years old. Butterfield’s work with the National Gardening Survey gave the green industry a reliable tool to understand consumer gardening practices and spending. Bruce Butterfield started his career as the Market Research Director at the National Gardening Association in 1978 and continued that same work until his death on September 5 as the Research Director at GardenResearch.com. “These many years of experience doing market research about gardeners and gardening trends gives him a unique understanding of who gardeners are, what they need and want, why they buy the products they do, where they shop, how gardening trends have changed in the past, and where they are headed in the future,” his bio on GardenResearch.com reads.       Butterfield was also behind What Gardeners’ Think and the Environmental Lawn […]

Read More

September 26, 2016

How Even An Overworked Plant Retailer Can Predict Consu…

Years ago, I read an article about Pottery Barn and the women who were making it a success. It was eye-opening to realize that a glossy, national chain like Pottery Barn used to buy products in a similar way garden retailers do. There was one section of that article that really caught my imagination. It was the profile of Celia Tejada, the woman who moved Pottery Barn from buying products from outside vendors to designing their own products. When Tejada joined Pottery Barn, she instructed her entire staff to begin keeping an eye out for things they liked, no matter how minor. So if they were at a restaurant with friends, or walking along a street and something caught their eye, they were to either buy it or photograph it and place it in a room set aside for these kinds of inspiration. When it came time to select themes for the […]

Read More
urban-outfitters-logo-feature

September 26, 2016

Terrain’s Parent Company Breaks Impass For Waterl…

There’s been a development in the stalled plans for a new Terrain garden store from Urban Outfitters on the former Waterloo Gardens location. In a letter to Easton Township, PA, officials, Urban Outfitters’ Chief Development Officer J. David Ziel says the company is removing a key element that had met strong resistance from the community around Devon Yards, its term for the development plan on the former Waterloo Gardens site. Devon Yards will no longer include a four-story apartment building in its “lifestyle center” project, Ziel wrote. But it will still include its third Terrain store, a large format Anthropologie, and several eateries. The planned apartment building had created friction with local residents, Mainline Media News reported back in April. While residents welcomed the retail aspects of the plan, they felt a large apartment building would change the character of the community. The developer who will work on the project, […]

Read More
Garden Centers Of America Best Bathroom Awards

September 19, 2016

Garden Centers Of America Names 2016 Best Bathroom Awar…

Every year, a panel judges the entries on the bathroom’s creativity and comfort to the customer’s overall shopping experience.

Read More
redbud-the-rising-sun-greenleaf-nursery-feature

September 19, 2016

Garden Center Group Dishes Out Retail Awards At SEGreen…

The Garden Center Group presented another round of Retailers’ Choice Awards at the Southern Nursery Association’s new SEGreen 2016 conference. Check out this year’s winners.

Read More
Griffin Logo

September 19, 2016

What You Should Do At The Griffin Expos, Pennsylvania E…

The second of the fall Griffin Expos takes place this week in Lancaster, PA, on September 21-22. If you're heading to this distributor show, make sure you check out these highlights.

Read More

September 9, 2016

It’s Official. Trees Are A Miracle Drug.

Recent studies show that trees are an outrageously powerful good for humankind. Luckily, tree sales are already on the increase. If your customers are aware of these kind studies, those sales may continue to soar.

Read More
Sunflare Japanese Forest Grass

September 8, 2016

Garden Retailers ID Their Favorite Findings At Farwest

The Retailers’ Choice Awards, once again coordinated by The Garden Center Group, were presented to nine exhibiting companies at the 2016 Farwest Show.

Read More

September 7, 2016

How Chalet Nursery Hits The Perceived-Value Sweet Spot

Steve Bailey says the sweet spot in pricing, that proverbial ideal price for your center, is tricky. Price it too high, and the units sold may drop. Price it too low, and you might not sell any more units than at a higher price.

Read More

September 6, 2016

What You Can Do At This Week’s Distributor Shows

It’s a busy week, with three distributor shows scheduled. If you’re heading Arett Sales, BFG Supply, or the Prince Fall Booking shows, we’ve got the inside scoop on what you’ll not want to miss. Arett Open House Atlantic City, September 11 to 13 Arett’s annual Open House event includes plenty of food and exhibitors (there’s more than 400 booths). There are three keynotes lined up. Kicking off on Sunday, retail motivational speaker Bob Phibbs will fire everyone up with his talk, “You Can Compete.” during a brunch. On Monday, consultant Ian Baldwin will get down to details in his “The Applied Science Of Winning Market Share.” And AmericanHort’s Jennifer Noble will offer the final keynote, asking retailers, “What If We Knew The Future?” And you’ll want to make sure you attend the evening entertainment: Sunday: Happy hour, dinner and live jazz on the show floor. Monday: Dinner at the Tropicana Hotel. BFG Expo […]

Read More

September 6, 2016

Which Plants Do Retailers Change The Prices On Most?

When our panel of experts (Dr. Charlie Hall, Texas A&M, Dr. Bridget Behe, Michigan State University, Consultants Steve Bailey, Ian Baldwin, and Sid Raisch) and I put together a pricing survey, we were curious about which plants retailers were most likely to change the price on. In other words, what’s most likely to be put on sale? Which categories are most likely to have increased prices due to the perceived value? Value-Added Plants Let’s start with value-added plants. Before the survey, most of us thought trendy plants, combo gardens, and large plants would be near the top of the list. We were partially right. Big plants and container gardens are at the top. But succulents and mini plants weren’t even close to the top. The four plant categories that are most likely to have perceived-value pricing applied are: Container Gardens Shrubs Large Perennials Trees Not surprisingly, container gardens leads the pack. About 72% of retailers say […]

Read More
Greenhouse Grower Retailing Logo

September 5, 2016

How Is Greenhouse Grower RETAILING Doing So Far?

Less than a year ago, Greenhouse Grower RETAILING launched. We’d love to get your feedback on how we can improve, and what we should continue doing.  

Read More

August 29, 2016

Does Point-Of-Sale (POS) Make A Difference for Plant Re…

When Greenhouse Grower RETAILING asked plant retailers about their plant pricing techniques, we also asked if they use POS or not. We decided to take a close look at where these two groups differ:

Read More
Griffin Logo

August 29, 2016

What You Should Do At The Griffin Expos, Massachusetts …

The first of the fall Griffin Expos takes place this week in West Springfield, MA, August 31 and September 1, 2016. A Lancaster, PA, Expo will take place next month. If you’re heading to this distributor show, make sure you check out these highlights: White Elephant Sale Each year, Griffin clears out its branch warehouses by holding a sale of its closeout and overstock items. The discounts are deep, and the competition for the items are fierce. “Once items are gone, they’re gone. So, that first hour or so is kind of like ‘the running of the brides’ at Filene’s,” says Tracey Gorrell, Marketing Communications Lead at Griffin. On-Site Experts Griffin offers opportunities to connect face-to-face with industry experts and get answers, tips, and advice catered to your unique needs and interests: The GGSPro team is available to field your questions; and 150 manufacturers, breeders, and young-plant producers can discuss […]

Read More

August 29, 2016

Fire Damages Swanson Nursery

Fire crews were called to Seattle-based Swanson’s Nursery in the middle of the night on August 22, the Ballard News Tribune reported. The fire, likely started by an “electrical issue,” destroyed bathrooms and a seminar room, Retail Manager Eric Nordstrom told the news outlet. Smoke damage was more extensive, however. Swanson’s President, Brian Damron says the fire also reached a storage area and utility room. A fire department spokesman says the fire broke through the greenhouse walls, and that part of a wooden wall had to be removed so the crew could reach the flames. The store’s café resides next to the damaged area, and is temporarily closed. It’s an important part of Swanson’s off season revenue strategy. The store is working with a timeline of repairs with its insurance company so it can determine when the cafe can reopen, the news outlet reports. The fire was out relatively quickly once […]

Read More

August 22, 2016

How Bad Plant Pricing Can Hurt A Good Retailer

Greenhouse Grower RETAILING's pricing survey finds that the most profitable pricing method is used by only 8% of plant retailers.

Read More

August 22, 2016

IGC Chicago Scores Big With Attendees And Exhibitors

The 10th anniversary of the annual event at Chicago’s Navy Pier drew a record number of first-time attendees, while exhibitors reported higher sales than ever.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]