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Retail experts to gather for Expo 2010 seminars


August 24, 2010
By Amanda Ryder

Aug. 24, 2010 – Renowned retail experts from around the world will gather at the Garden Centre Symposium 2010 to share best practices on store design and merchandising – both bricks and clicks – for maximum customer contact, buying influence and profitability.

Renowned retail experts from around the world will gather at the Garden Centre Symposium 2010 to share best practices on store design and merchandising – both bricks and clicks – for maximum customer contact, buying influence and profitability.

The Garden Centre Symposium, an annual business education symposium for garden centre owners from across North America, takes place on Monday, Oct. 18 at the Toronto Congress Centre. The event produced by the Garden Centre Sector Group of Landscape Ontario, is held in conjunction with EXPO formerly Garden & Floral Expo, Canada’s fall show for the floral and garden industry, Oct. 19 – 20.

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Garden Centre Symposium Schedule – Monday, October 18, 2010

8 a.m.              Registration Opens
8:30 a.m.         Coffee Break
9 a.m.              Judy Sharpton, Growing Places Marketing
                       Store School – Part 1 – The Store as a Marketing and Customer Service Tool       
10:30 a.m.       Coffee Break
10:45 a.m.       Doug Green, douggreensgarden.com
                       Social Media in the Garden Centre: Making Sense of What Works and What Doesn’t on the Net
12 noon           Awards of Excellence Luncheon
1:30 p.m.         Eve Tigwell, Eve Tigwell Consultancy
                        How to Run a Profitable Garden Centre
3 p.m.              Coffee Break
3:15 p.m.         Judy Sharpton, Growing Places Marketing
                        Store School – Part 2 – Consumer-Based Store Design – From Entrance to Major Departments to Exit
4:30 p.m.         Tom Intven, Canadale Nurseries Ltd
                        New Introductions to Woody Plants
5:30 p.m.         Reception

"As change moves us quickly into a new decade, I think that the Expo show coupled with a full day Garden Centre Symposium is great value and an excellent draw for people in our industry,” says Perry Grobe, of Grobe’s Nursery and Garden Centre, Breslau, Ont., “The presentations from retail experts from around the world offer garden centre owners a lot of progressive and readily usable ideas and ways that will help them grow in areas not previously explored. Since this is the best time to buy for the spring of 2011, they will have plenty of products to see and purchase from the 275 vendors at EXPO 2010. What more could you ask for to help your business grow forward?"

The event features Judy Sharpton, Growing Places Marketing, Savannah, Ga., who will present a two-part program based on her Store School. It looks at customer expectations and methods that retailers can use to make their store layouts maximize customer merchandise contact and ultimately increase sales volume. Participants are encouraged to bring scale site plans of their retail environments (all areas from parking lots to exit, all areas with customer access) and photographs. Individual store issues will be discussed following the general session.

Doug Green, Douggreensgarden.com, Athens, Ont., has been in the industry for 23 years and will provide practical tips on social media as it pertains to the garden centre industry. Participants will achieve a sense of what to do or not do on the internet in social media. Real-world numbers will be presented from Mr. Green’s own network.

Eve Tigwell, Eve Tigwell Consultants, Somerset, U.K., brings a world perspective as well as plenty of  content from her recent Garden Centre inspections here in Canada. Ms Tigwell, an internationally acclaimed retail consultant specializing in retail garden centre and nursery design, business and people management, makes her exclusive and premier North American appearance at the Garden Centre Symposium. Anyone interested in running a profitable garden centre will gain insight on market knowledge, customers, minimizing product lines for maximum profits, store layouts and space management, merchandising, sales and staff engagement. For garden centre owners who aren't familiar with her work, this presentation is also an opportunity to hear an introduction to Tigwell's scorecard program, meet her face-to-face and then register to have their business evaluated in the 2011 season.

Tom Intven, Canadale Nurseries, St. Thomas, Ont., will conclude the program with a presentation on new introductions of woody plants. Mr. Intven grew up in his company, which gave him an insider’s look at running a garden centre and nursery. The challenge and fun of the business comes from the search, propagation and introduction of new plants.

For more information and to sign up for the symposium, visit www.loexpo.ca.


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