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The 2010 Landscape Show Helps the

Industry Shift into Gear
by Jaclyn Rhoads - FNGLA
October 3, 2010

It was full speed ahead at the southeast's premier landscape and horticulture conference and trade event, The Landscape Show. This year's theme, "Shifting Gears," was the perfect theme for a changing industry. Held September 23 - 25, 2010 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, The Landscape Show featured nearly 200,000 sq. ft. of trees, shrubs, equipment and more from 500 exhibiting companies.

More than 7,200 industry members turned to The Landscape Show to find plants, products and services to help their businesses succeed in an ever-changing economy. The Landscape Show featured 730 booths and in addition to the extensive trade show, numerous events promoting certification, business connections and learning surrounded The Landscape Show.

"The 2010 Landscape Show far exceeded everyone's expectations; there is more energy than we thought we would see. The Landscape Show energizes your soul and helps you look at things differently," said The Landscape Show chairman, Jim Charlton of Walt Disney World Horticulture. "The show allowed attendees to see new varieties of plants and new products, and they left with something they may not have seen before whether it's a new idea, or a new way to display a plant."

POLITICAL PRESENCE AT THE SHOW

Candidates for Florida's top political offices presented their plans for governing Florida agriculture to more than 230 industry leaders at the ninth quadrennial Farm Credit - Agriculture Institute of Florida Candidates Forum held on September 24 at The Landscape Show. "We appreciate the candidates' attention to agriculture and we hope they have a better understanding of our issues, because we need their support," said Betsy McGill, president of the Agriculture Institute of Florida.

Industry leaders also heard from Attorney General Republican candidate Pam Bondi and the candidates for Agriculture Commissioner - Democrat Scott Maddox, Republican Adam Putnam and Independent Thad Hamilton. After the Forum, candidates visited the show floor to interact with exhibitors and attendees.

FNGLA hosted a meet and greet event on Friday afternoon to support U.S. Congressman Adam Putnam in the critically important race to succeed term-limited Charlie Bronson as Florida's next Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

EXHIBITORS AND SPEAKERS

With 730 booths, The Landscape Show highlighted the diverse products available from Florida's nursery and landscape industry. From towering trees, flowering plants, tropical foliage and drought-tolerant grasses to stone, pavers, ponds and pottery, all aspects of landscape elements were on display in this 200,000-square-foot marketplace. Some exhibitors even included classic cars and automobile-related decor in their booth designs to mirror the "Shifting Gears" theme.

The Landscape Show and the FNGLA Short Course hosted quality speakers on marketing, design, pest control and business management to keep attendees apprised of the latest trends. Speakers included world-renowned Landscape Architect Raymond Jungles who shared a passion for outdoor living during a lively luncheon and Harold Lloyd who walked attendees through riding the wave of change. Noted economist and speaker Dr. Lowell Catlett opened the show by offering an insightful perspective on the recession during a complimentary opening session. Dr. Catlett, a dynamic futurist, put the current state of the economy into perspective for business owners: "The United States has $54-56 trillion in net worth, and $14 trillion in debt... that's a $40 trillion party!" Dr. Catlett reiterated that the "economy is ok."

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

In addition to the diverse products on the trade show floor, educational programs were also available at The Landscape Show. A guided tour of Bok Towers on Wednesday, September 22, showcased acres of ferns, palms, oaks and pines and allowed attendees to take note to inspire their own landscape design.

Special tracks of classes were offered for landscape managers, landscape designers, growers and retailers, as well as general sessions offering management skills for all. Special free, how-to demonstrations were offered throughout each day of the show.

Always looking forward, FNGLA welcomed our industry's future leaders to attend its Horticulture Career Day to learn about the many career opportunities in Florida's nursery and landscape industry. More than 300 high school horticulture students met with educators and employers and competed in Horticulture Jeopardy before visiting the show floor.

In an effort to further increase the professionalism of Florida's landscape industry, FNGLA hosted a training session to certify the judges and proctors of FNGLA's landscape certification exams. Twenty professionals from Florida and the Bahamas took part in FNGLA's newest certification offering - and received their official judge vests during the FNGLA Landscape Awards Banquet on Friday evening.

57 golfers participated in the annual golf tournament held at the Grand Cypress Golf Resort. David Raab of Roseville Farms sunk a hole-in-one and won a $12,000 Polaris sponsored by LRA insurance. Since 1994, FNGLA's Allied Division, which promotes and represents Allied members' business interests within Florida's environmental horticulture industry, has raised over $150,000 for education and research through the University of Florida's Special Help For Agricultural Research & Education program (SHARE).

AWARDS AND DISPLAYS

Several awards were presented to exhibitors for their outstanding booth displays. Receiving the Best of Show Award this year was Excelsa Gardens, Inc. of Loxahatchee, Florida. On Friday, September 24, 90 people gathered for the annual FNGLA Landscape Awards banquet at the Rosen Plaza to celebrate 22 winning entries for excellence in landscape design. In addition to winning awards for "Residential New Installation" and "Maintenance" for Residence in Lost Tree Village and the S.J. Blakely Award, Jenkins Landscape Company of Hobe Sound, FL received the annual Roy S. Rood award, the award given to the most outstanding entry.

The Landscape Show also featured The Discover Area which featured a showcase of live green walls, also called vertical gardens. A special focus on composting also was highlighted. The Sustainable Solutions Showcase within the Discover Area featured products and services which are both sustainable and environmentally friendly. A Mickey and Minnie topiary courtesy of the horticulture professionals at Walt Disney World, greeted attendees at registration.

ABOUT THE LANDSCAPE SHOW

Plans for an even larger 2011 Show are already in the works. The trade show returns September 29-October 1, 2011 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The Landscape Show is produced by the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA). FNGLA represents Florida's nursery and landscape industry, with an estimated $15.2 billion in industry-wide sales.

For more information, contact FNGLA at 1533 Park Center Dr., Orlando, FL, 32835. info@fngla.org, (800) 375-3642, or www.fngla.org.

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