I’ve never been a big fan of the word synergy. Especially in this industry, it seems like the wrong term to use when it comes to collaborations. It takes all of the fun, well-intentioned elements out of a joint effort and turns it into a dull, competitive corporate endeavor.
But as I looked around the roundtables and show floor at this year’s Garden Center Conference & Expo, that’s the word that kept coming to mind: synergy. The ideas, connections and solutions happening at the show were, in fact, the definition of synergy. Basically, the whole of the brainpower in the rooms were greater than the sum of their parts.
If there’s one thing this year’s conference really drove home, it’s that we’re all better together. More people contributing to discussions means more ideas, more energy and more connections.
As Leslie Halleck says in her column this month, “We operate in a ‘we all rise together’ sort of industry.” That’s exactly what happened at this year’s Garden Center Conference & Expo — attendees and sponsors approached each other as community rather than competition. And the results were a resounding success. Attendees went home with ideas, connections and resources they can use to improve their own operations, and the industry as a whole. You can read all about it in our coverage on page 38.
Speaking of Leslie, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank her for a decade of columns in Garden Center magazine. This month’s piece will be her last for us as she moves on to other adventures, but you may still see her byline in the magazine from time to time. Leslie’s advice and opinions were always thoughtful, well-informed and full of passion to make this industry better. We’ll miss her insights and wish her all the best!
As we move forward with planning next year’s conference, I’m excited to announce that we’ll be heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota, Aug. 2-4, 2023. There, we’ll be co-locating with the GardenComm Annual Conference & Expo to bring even more plant people, communicators, retailers, suppliers and other industry professionals together in one space. From marketing to content creation to general inspiration, there’s even more synergy on the way. It’s going to be bigger and better than ever, so I hope you’ll make plans to join us to learn and grow with us.