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OFA Short Course attendance up


September 6, 2012
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Sept. 6, 2012, Columbus, OH — The sold out 2012 OFA Short Course drew the largest crowd in years.

The annual horticulture convention and marketplace drew 9,100 people
to Columbus, Ohio. This is the largest number of participants since the
2008 show.

The expanded exposition component was sold out with
more than 740 unique exhibits – another increase over previous years.
Some exhibit footprints were as large as 4,100 square feet, making it
the largest OFA Short Course in several years. Attendees visited from
more than 25 countries, including China and Australia.
 
“We
believe the increased attendance reflects an increasing confidence in
the U.S. and global economy, and a continued trust in OFA and this event
as the preferred provider for education and international market
development,” said Michael V. Geary, CAE, chief executive officer of
OFA.
 
“The entire convention, including the trade show, is an
opportunity for thousands of people to gather under one roof to expand
our industry and to grow their businesses. This includes growers of all
kinds, independent retailers, interior and exterior landscapers,
educators, students, and suppliers, among many others. It’s more than a
trade show. The attendees experienced hundreds of business and technical
educational programs, they participated in numerous networking events,
visited our Garden Center Live! and Grower Solutions pavilions, and had a
lot of fun,” Geary said.
 
This year, OFA Short Course was
recognized by Trade Show News Network as one of the top 25 fastest
growing trade shows and the 150th largest show in the United States
among all industries.

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“I heard from many of my colleagues that
this was one of the best industry shows in recent history. People are
positive and upbeat, not only about this year but also next; they are
anticipating better spring sales this coming year and are hoping it
extends further into the summer and fall. Contacts made at Short Course
will positively impact exhibitors’ bottom line,” said John Gaydos of
Proven Winners and member of the OFA Exhibitor Advisory Committee. “I am
looking forward to the 2013 OFA Short Course and expect it to offer
even more value to everyone,” he added.
 
The convention was also
an opportunity to publicly celebrate the joint venture activities
between OFA and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA).
Hundreds of ANLA members attended, and the organization hosted its
annual governance meetings in Columbus.

Along with the OFA board
of directors, ANLA’s board voted to pursue organizing a new
horticulture trade association with OFA that will replace OFA and ANLA
in 12 to 18 months. Details on the new organization will be released as
progress is made.
 
The next OFA Short Course will take place on July 13 to 16, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.


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