Horticultural professionals looking for a competitive edge will find innovative solutions and practical help at NJ PLANTS, a trade show for nursery, landscape professionals, garden center businesses to be presented by MAC Events early next year.
Scheduled Jan. 25-26 at the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, the exposition is expected to be twice the size of previous events devoted to the metropolitan area’s green industries.
MAC Events producer Kevin McLaughlin sees the show as a valuable resource for businesses that grow, sell and care for ornamental plants. The show is designed for nursery growers, garden center owners, landscape professionals, product suppliers and turf maintenance and related service providers who contribute to a vital economic sector.
The latest products, services and equipment will be showcased, offering individual companies an opportunity to benefit from direct business-to-business networking. Connecting with suppliers and specialists from the immediate region helps professionals identify cost-effective support for their business goals.
“Sustainability” is the current industry buzzword, but business owners can often use help translating that idea into lower-maintenance landscapes, more efficient irrigation and reduced waste streams.
The show’s educational programs will offer a focused update on the latest business and horticultural practices. Sessions covering new plants and design tools, effective merchandising and techniques for thriving in a shifting economy are presented in cooperation with the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. Some courses qualify for continuing education credits required by licensed professionals. Pesticide credit courses will be presented by Rutgers Office of Professional Education.
Featured in seminars at the inaugural event is speaker Rick Darke, a designer, author and photographer devoted to sustainable landscapes. A New Jersey native, his books have covered woodland gardens, regional landscapes and ornamental grasses, and have been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio.
On the show’s opening day, Darke will discuss “Balancing Natives and Exotics,” a topical subject at a time when native plants are enjoying renewed popularity and imported species include new and useful specimens.
Green industries have a significant impact nationally, contributing $147 billion in direct sales and another $95 billion in services, according to a nationwide study by the University of Florida. In New Jersey, where production of ornamental plants leads the agricultural sector, green industries have a total economic impact of about $7 billion annually, the study says.
NJ PLANTS will be where green professionals find common ground, spot future trends and take advantage of special show deals. With a fresh approach and a new venue, it will revitalize the annual gathering sponsored for many years by the non-profit New Jersey Nursery & Landscaping Association Trade Show.
MAC Events of Spring Lake has been producing trade and consumer shows for more than 40 years, including home shows and flower and garden shows in New Jersey and Virginia. For more information call (800) 332-3976 or e-mail [email protected].