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Must-see talks at the 2020 virtual Green Industry Show and Conference


November 13, 2020
By Greenhouse Canada

The Green Industry Show and Conference is back for 2020, but it will be virtual due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. The show runs from Nov. 18 to 20 this year.

Organized by Landscape Alberta in conjunction with the Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association, the 45-year-old GISC presents industry-leading workshops and seminars, as well as the latest products and services available to the horticultural industry.

This year, free trade show admission will allow attendees the opportunity to discover the latest solutions, industry trends, technologies and services the horticultural industry has to offer, plus the ability to chat, text and video chat face-to-face with exhibitor representatives.

A virtual conference will also take place with over 27 educational sessions and keynote speakers spread out over three days. Each day will end with a fun social or mixer, hosted by Landscape Alberta’s Joel Beatson. Some key sessions for greenhouse growers and garden centres include:

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Wednesday November 18

Keynote: Relieving Work-Related Stress With Humour
with Judy Croon

Stress is a major cause of most illnesses, and humour is an amazing way to relieve it. Harvard studies show that when you are stressed, your brain shrinks. However, when you laugh, you relax, and when you relax, you learn. This hilarious and inspirational session explores seven stress-relieving ingredients: a positive attitude, perseverance, forgiveness, teamwork, family and friends, mental activity and physical activity.

Gardening Motivations & Cashing In On Them
with Bridget Behe (Michigan State University)

With the unusual spike in demand in 2020 for plants of all kinds, Bridget and her research team investigated the varied gardening motivations this year. Her presentation will show you results of that study as well as how to cash-in on those emerging motivations for buying plants.

Understanding growing media ingredients
with Pierre-Marc de Champlain (Berger)

To choose the ideal horticultural mix for a given production, we need to consider many factors; the crop produced, the season, the facilities, the irrigation and fertilization strategy. To better understand the characteristics of the growing media and how to manage it correctly for optimal results, it’s important to understand the contribution of each ingredient.

Panel: The challenges faced by post-secondary education
with Gord Koch (Olds College), Bruce Kay (Ongrowing Works), and Kathryn Hutchison (City of Edmonton)

In early 2020, the Alberta Government announced that in the spring of 2020 all post-secondary institutions would be funded through a set of performance-based metrics. Along came COVID-19 in mid-March closing down almost all aspects of everyday life, which since then daily routines are very slowly evolving as the “new norm”. Although the Alberta Government put performance-based funding on hold, reductions to post-secondary funding are being implemented and a contract has been awarded to McKinsey & Company to conduct a review of Alberta’s post-secondary system. What will this mean for the future of horticulture education in the Landscape Horticulture Apprenticeship Program and full-time horticulture diploma and applied degree programs? Join the panel representing industry, government and education to listen to and discuss the changes to the Alberta post-secondary model and what this may hold for the future of horticulture education.

Looking through the lens of the pandemic
with Christie Pollack (Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouses) and Nadine Stielow (Thiel’s Greenhouses)

From pivoting and learning how to operate a business during a pandemic, to digesting and filtering the right information, and creating new ways to sell; the key to it all was relationships. As Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach says, “it’s not about the how, it’s about the who”. The result? Business optimization.

Thursday November 19

Tropical Plants – A Crystal Ball Approach To 2021
with Kim Wickwire (Olds College)

Join Kim for a conversation about this group of plants that have rebounded from near extinction during the era of minimalism to become the stars of our interiors once again! We will touch on trends, growing potential, the prairie markets and some of the issues that come with such a diverse group of plants in your greenhouse/garden centre.

Friday November 20

Keynote: 2021 Garden Trends
with Katie Dubow (Garden Media Group)

Why should you care about trends? It’s simple. Trends drive consumers and consumers drive sales. This year, the GISC 2020 is the place to watch for emerging trends. In 2021 and beyond, the future for gardening looks joyful. Trends are more important than ever to guide us in uncertain times and give us hope. Join global trendspotter and QVC guest host, Katie Dubow, and learn how to apply new research and inside information to help you grow your business and stay relevant. When you’re ahead of the curve, your company becomes a trendsetter and you become the go-to place for what’s new – whether you are a breeder, grower or retailer.

Greenhouse IPM
with Rose Buitenhuis (Vineland Research and Innovation Centre)

This session will provide an overview of the current research projects on greenhouse integrated pest management at Vineland. Subjects include: the prevalence of onion thrips vs western flower thrips in greenhouse crops and how to adjust your IPM program to manage both species; the effect of plant nutrition on pest populations; the search for new biocontrol agents; and the production of educational IPM videos. We will look back on the implementation of past projects and discuss research needs for the future.
*This session is eligible for Pesticide Applicator Re-certification Credits

Panel: Maintaining mental health through tough times
with Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza (Green Acres Consulting), Paul Atkinson (ULS Landscaping), and Jennifer Wright (CaHRC)

We have been dealing with COVID-19 for few months now and every aspect of living has changed. We are doing business differently and many of us are living in panic as to what is the future, the future of our families and the future of our businesses. Many surveys have shown that mental health pandemic is here. Even before this pandemic, one in five Canadian experienced the typical symptoms of stress, depression, panic attacks, paranoid and others. The numbers have gone up. On the other hand the plants we grow have learned to live with and handle stresses for a long time and they have managed well. Can we learn from the plants? This panel will discuss how we can attempt to lesson our anxiety and stresses by using plants as an example; if plants can deal with viruses, why cannot we. This will be a unique discussion about how we can learn from plants, emphasize strategies you are already doing and take fear factors out.

To learn more or register, click here: https://pheedloop.com/gisc2020/site/