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IGC Show announces speaker lineup


March 4, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Mar. 4, 2013, Chicago — The Independent Garden Centre Show has announced its lineup for the 2013 IGC Know2Grow Retail Conference.

As the world's biggest educational resource for garden centres, the Know2Grow Retail Conference features more than 50 hours of quality education focused on proven profit strategies. The conference runs during the IGC Show, Aug. 20 to 22 at Chicago's Navy Pier.

This year's speaker line up includes:

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  • Barbara Crowhurst is a renowned retail business coach and founder and CEO of Retail Makeover and Retail Makeover Web Design Services. Her comprehensive and detailed approach comes from years in the retail industry, which has taken her from working with some of the largest corporate retailers to consulting with thousands of independent retail specialty stores. She recently started directing the independent retail movement in Canada, which focuses on the exploding trend to shop and support local independent retailers that launched nationwide last July.
  • Rick Segel is the author of 13 books, including The Essential Online Solution: The 5-Step Formula for Small Business Success; Laugh & Get Rich: How to Profit From Humor in Any Business; and Retail Business Kit for Dummies. His newest book, The Retail Sales Bible: The Great Book of G.R.E.A.T. Selling, is a primer for retailing. Segel has lectured more than 2,100 audiences on five continents. He is a founding member of Johnson & Wales University's Retail Advisory Council.
  • Kyle Lacy is the author of Twitter Marketing for Dummies and Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. He is principal of marketing research and education for ExactTarget, a  global provider of interactive marketing solutions. Lacy has an in-depth understanding of the application of social and interactive media for businesses of all sizes and regularly speaks on topics ranging from social media adoption to interactive marketing trends.
  • James Dion is one of North America's leading experts on consumer trends, selling, service and retail technology, and merchandising and operations. He is the founder and president of Dionco Inc., an internationally renowned retail consulting and training firm. Dion is the best-selling author of Retail Selling Ain't Brain Surgery, It's Twice as Hard; Start and Run a Retail Business, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store. Dion is a regular speaker for the National Retail Federation on retail trends, technology, inventory control, best practices in sustainable retail and store management.
  • Judy Sharpton is the owner of Growing Places Marketing, specializing in on-site consultations on store design, development, renovation and branding, as well as product selection and placement exclusively for IGC retailers in the United States and Canada. Much of that work has been concentrated in small markets for stores with limited resources but unlimited energy and commitment. Her program focuses on real solutions that do not require a bulldozer or a bank loan. Sharpton has served more than 300 independent garden centers with a wide range of services. 
  • Jim Bradley is a high-profile gardening expert who has been involved with BBC Northern Ireland radio and television gardening programs for more than 25 years. He reinvented his Mid Ulster Garden Centre, which was established in 1972, more than 10 years ago. As a result, the IGC has tripled sales and is renowned for its innovative displays, merchandising techniques and outside-the-box solutions. Bradley’s ideas have been published in more than 48 garden retail magazines worldwide. He writes exclusively for Garden Chic magazine in the United States, where he contributes his “Retail Maverick” perspectives in every issue.
  • Tom Shay gained considerable experience as a fourth-generation merchant, providing him with the knowledge and background to present successful ideas to assist owners, managers and staff with the day-to-day operation of their business. He writes books for retail, small businesses and their vendors, as well as business management and sales technique columns for trade magazines. Shay's knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits and build their business for the future. He also works with manufacturers and wholesalers to help their staff understand the complexity and challenges small businesses face, allowing the supplier to be a more valuable partner.
  • Larry Pfarr, owner of Leap Retail Consulting, focuses on the in-store retail shopping experience, including store design, visual merchandising, merchandise selection and employee training, as well as marketing, advertising, public relations and social media. He has more than 23 years of experience with Bachman’s Floral, Gift & Garden, in Minnesota, which ranked No. 17 in IGC Retailer’s IGC 100 report with $24.1 million in sales. As the director of visual merchandising and store design for 18 years, his responsibilities included heading up all non-perishable buying, marketing, advertising and public relations efforts, as well as overseeing operations for five of its six largest stores. He also worked on and launched major initiatives including the rebranding of the company, several new gift and home programs, store remodels/redesign and implemented the restaurant concept at the flagship store.

Click here to view the full Know2Grow Retail Conference Schedule.


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