Just back from CENTS 2016 in Columbus, Ohio where I had the privilege to be a guest speaker for two great sessions on snow related subject matter. More importantly than that, was my overall experience. What made my experience such a pleasure was the valuable introductions I made and the industry synergy I felt and experienced. While a bit tired, I wanted to share my thoughts while they remained fresh in my mind. This blog post is to share my reasons why events like this are so key to the green-snow industry. Before I do that, I want to take a moment to thank my hosts and the event producers. Kudos to the entire Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association. What a GREAT TEAM of people and what a great show they put on. I often talk about the PURPOSE of a TEAM and what results can be achieved when they work well together. The efforts of Educational Director Lisa Larson and her TEAM are a clear representation of that. This is one of the best educational shows that I have been to in all my years in the green industry at the state level. Kudos one. The convention facility, the staff and the facility amenities are GREAT! Kudos two. The city of Columbus, Ohio, the airport access was great being an out of town guest, the proximity of the airport to the convention center was convenient and the city itself looks to be a vibrant mix of old and new. Downtown Columbus has a vibrant restaurant scene and walk-ability from the convention center to other social gatherings I attended where very convenient. Kudos Three. Kudos four, I give to myself. It was I, who brought 1-3 inches of snow to all the contractors throughout the state. Reason being, I was talking about SNOW! While this hurt the attendance of my audience a bit, I’m glad that contractors actually got a taste of winter to practice there snow & ice management skills.
That all said, here are 3 more things I learned.
1. Trade Shows and Trade Associations In General:
Trade shows and trade associations are a particularly useful resource for people in the green industry. This is one arena where you can find a concentration of key people who are intimately familiar with all aspects of a given trade. Walk around, walk up to people, introduce yourself and your company. You never know where an introduction may lead and for me they led to some great introduction and hopefully future business relationships and personal friendships. What did I learn, it’s not my last CENTS show! I met and talked to some great people.
When you attend a trade association function such as the CENTS show, you are able to network with many industry professionals from vendors, manufactures and contractors. This is a great time to network! Ask questions about the state of the industry, what are the new trends, challenges that are present, maybe even suggestions on how to do something better than you’re doing it. What did I learn at CENTS show, Ohio is a huge market and presents many opportunities for landscape business growth. I can actually say that I met the largest concentration of design-build firms business owners that I have before in one place.
CENTS was jam packed with educational seminars. I’ve never attended a state association show with the quantity and quality of educational seminars such as CENTS. There was a subject matter for everyone. What did I learn at CENTS show, Personally I attended several speaking engagements of other landscape professionals and even one educational class. I earned something at both sessions.
What are your thoughts on the subject matter? Please comment-
About the author; Steven Cohen is a Landscape Industry SME and Chief Innovation Officer at GreenMark Consulting Group; a Landscape-Snow Industry Business-Consulting/Advisory firm that specializes in helping small-medium sized growth oriented companies. You can reach Steven Cohen by phone at 610.905.3637. Email Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.greenmarkgroup.com to learn more about our services.