2 Column CSS Layout - concise design
IGC 2011 Wraps to Rave Reviews, Strong Attendance
IGC 2011 wrapped to rave reviews from both retailers and suppliers following its fifth anniversary year at Navy Pier in Chicago. The buzz was optimistic and upbeat, despite the disappointing weather this spring.
Total verified attendance this year came in at 6,488. All 50 states were represented, as well as 24 countries, including an IGCer from faraway Wellington, New Zealand. "IGC is not only the largest gathering of garden centers in America, it is the largest in the world," says IGC Show Co-founder and IGC Retailer Publisher Jeff Morey. "IGC has clearly established itself as the must-attend event among garden centers," says IGC Co-founder and Garden Chic Publisher Cheryl Morey.
Retailers were busy all week, starting on Monday with the Wisconsin garden center and Chicago botanical garden tours. IGC University opened Tuesday morning with two-hour workshops. The new "professor-driven" tracks proved popular with the "students," who received diplomas upon completing the program. The 1,000-plus-booth trade show floor was packed from start to finish, as independent retailers scouted the latest trends in garden selling.
IGC’s three spotlight keynotes were especially well-received this year, drawing record attendance. P. Allen Smith from NBC’s Today Show encouraged garden centers to stop whining and start selling. TV star, best-selling author and life coach Larry Winget’s inspiring "just do it!" message is being called the most popular IGC keynote to date. Retail guru Paco Underhill made the strong point that garden centers must be more in tune with their primary customer base: women.
IGC 2012 returns to Chicago’s Navy Pier August 21-23, 2012. Dennis DeYoung – star of mega-group Styx – has been signed as the free IGC Show Classic Rock Concert.
IGC Retailer Buzz!
"We found vendors at IGC that aren't at the other shows, and with the show specials, we wrote orders on-site. The salespeople here are in a better mood because they're writing orders - it makes it a better experience for buyers." Jim Harvey, Owner, Harvey’s Farm & Garden Center, Westborough, MA
"We go to one show a year now – it's IGC. We used to go to about three or four shows, now we just come here because IGC has everything." John Loyet, President, Greenscape Gardens & Gifts, Manchester, MO
"I took two pages of notes during Larry Winget's keynote. His simple comments make you stop and think. I'm excited to share them during our sales meeting next week." Heidi Warner, Corporate Sales Manager, Wetsel, Harrisonburg, VA
"I’ve heard Foreigner's song "I Want to Know What Love Is" a thousand times, but to realize that Lou Gramm wrote it, and to see his passion, was amazing. The way he sang the songs was like they were coming from inside him. I was very moved." Jim Harvey, Owner, Harvey’s Farm & Garden Center, Westborough, MA
"We made the decision to stay at IGC an extra day to write all of our orders on-site." Therese Olson, Owner, Lowes Creek Tree Farm, Eleva, WI
"IGC has a tremendous diversity of products. The vendors here are outside the box of what you would see at the traditional distributor shows." Clark Anderson, Owner, Anderson’s Home & Garden Showplace, Newport News, VA
"IGCU's Judy Sharpton had lots of good ideas, including things to look at in understanding how people come into our stores – what they see, how color is a big factor, etc." Patty Marten, Retail Manager, Green Oasis Gardens, Chippewa Falls, WI
"Everything is at IGC – it is well-represented by every part of the industry. This year, the fairy gardens caught our attention; we’re going to try that." Diane Vanacker-Hopp, Owner, Tyger Valley Farm, Woodruff, SC
"P. Allen Smith's keynote leaves us thinking a lot more about women and their color choices, particularly in the way color drives the decor of their home." Janell Peters, Assistant Buyer/Merchandiser, ACE Homeworks, Dyersville, IA
"John Stanley's IGCU session gave us the idea of inviting customers to vote on their favorite plants so we can highlight the winners in our displays." Bev Snyder, Manager, Danville Gardens, Danville, IL
"The IGC Garden Center Bus Tour is the most important reason to come. It's a great way to jump-start the experience at the show. It's energizing." Emily Harvey, Manager, Harvey’s Farm & Garden Center, Westborough, MA
"Kyle Lacy helped us understand the new media outlets available to independent retailers during his IGCU sessions." Bruce Jensen, Owner, Pinehaven Garden Center, Avon, OH
"I’ve been coming to IGC since 2007, and each year, I'm inspired to do more remodeling. We did an extensive amount of remodeling three years ago, and it doubled our business." Peter Mayeux, Owner, All Seasons Home & Garden Showplace, Lafayette, LA
"IGCU's Ernest Wertheim is positively charming with a great sense of humor. He is very quick, very intelligent." Robin Boutilier, Perennial Manager, Good Earth Garden Center, Colorado Springs, CO
"IGC is a great show to be able to see how people integrate products into displays." Peter Molyneux, President, Galaxy Gardens, Woodcliff Lake, NJ
"This country needs to hear Larry Winget's message. Stop whining, and get a life! I'm going to put it on Facebook." Jennifer Schamber, General Manager, Greenscape Gardens & Gifts, Manchester, MO
"We love IGC. There isn't a lot of product here that we wouldn’t be interested in buying." Jeff Cooksey, Purchasing Manager, Altum’s, Zionsville, IN