Better together

Departments - Editor’s Note

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February 3, 2021

Kate Spirgen
PORTRAIT BY AMBER SMITH

The challenges of the past year have turned into amazing opportunities for independent garden centers. The pandemic started out as a potential crisis and a threat to the very livelihood of retailers, but has transformed into an incredible opportunity for IGCs all over. Thanks to your innovation, dedication and perseverance, customers were able to find refuge during tough times by beautifying their yards and homes with plants — some for the first time.

As the industry works to capitalize on this renewed interest in all things gardening, it’s time to think big, think bold and think about the future.

All of that means there’s no better time than now to come together, share what you’ve learned from the past year and plan for all of the great things to come in the future.

That’s why I’m so excited for the launch of the first Garden Center Conference & Expo, coming Sept. 28-30 in Orlando. We’ll be bringing together some of the top minds in the IGC world to discuss how to take charge, seize gardening’s moment in the spotlight and move the industry forward. Just like our Executive Summit in past years, the educational sessions will be focused on collaboration, discussion and presentations from your peers in the industry.

This year, thanks to your suggestions, we’re adding an education track specifically designed for vital employees at your operation like team leaders, department heads and managers who will have their own space share ideas and knowledge. It’s all a part of growing together.

Over the next few months, be on the lookout for more details on speakers, educational opportunities and networking sessions. As always, if there’s a problem you’d like to see addressed or a topic you’d like to hear about, please reach out and let me know. This conference is all about you and your success!

It’s been far too long since we’ve all been able to come together, and we want to make sure we do so safely. Rest assured we’ll be doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for all.

We have a lot to catch up on and discuss. I hope you can join us for two and half days of problem-solving, networking and much-needed fun. See you in Florida!

Kate Spirgen
kspirgen@gie.net