Looking for an exhibitor or speaker who was at Cultivate'15? Click here to walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog.
Participants from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and more than 20 other countries representing Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, Middle East, Oceania, and South America gathered in Columbus, Ohio for Cultivate'15 on July 11-14. The largest all-industry horticulture exposition and convention in North America recently concluded with approximately 10,000 attendees. This year, attendees saw more exhibitors, an expanded collection of business-building programs, and the presentation of several industry initiatives.
The programs and activities this year included a larger "Retail District" to accommodate more companies to exhibit products and services for local garden and floral retailers, and related hands-on workshops. The "Live for Growers" pavilion offered multiple lectures and demonstrations for growers. Three all-day tours were organized on the first day for participants to visit model garden centers, greenhouse facilities, and nursery production sites. Specialized educational tracks and exhibitors were also arranged for florists.
Premiered at Cultivate'15 was the AmericanHort SHIFT initiative. Along with the Horticultural Research Institute, the two organizations are conducting research and developing strategies to propose how the industry needs to react to a new generation of consumers. A 3,000 square foot exhibition was constructed, and it included insights and strategies that are an introduction to forthcoming programs and resources for the organization's member companies. The association also brought visibility to its "Grow Wise. Bee Smart." A campaign with numerous presentations on sustaining pollinator health and increasing the use of pollinator-friendly plants. As a founding member of the National Pollinator Garden Network, AmericanHort offers resources for growers and retailers on the subject.
Attendees were inspired by the keynote speakers, which included Curt Steinhorst of the Center for Generational Kinetics. Steinhorst offered a humorous take on the Millennial generation, yet he provided a serious perspective on how employers and our service strategies must adjust to meet changing consumer demographics. The other keynote speaker was Nancy Fire, a consumer expert and consultant to some of the leading and well-known brands, including HGTV. She reinforced Steinhorst's message and shared trends in color, fashion, and furniture. She reminded attendees that horticulture is setting trends with the beauty and functionality of horticultural products, and that the industry needs to capitalize on this to remain relevant.
Every corner of the Greater Columbus Convention Center was stunningly decorated with horticulture products contributed by AmericanHort members. More than 100 volunteers also donated their time over the course of nine days by assisting with the setup, teardown, and onsite logistics. At the conclusion of the convention, the remaining plants, trees, and hard goods were distributed to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, including City of Columbus Recreation & Parks, Columbus Parklet Project, Franklin Park Conservatory, Habitat for Humanity, Homeport, and the Ohio State University Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Garden.
The inaugural year for the event "Cultivate," it proved to be an exciting time for attendees and exhibitors alike. With the debut of the new organization AmericanHort (the consolidation of ANLA and OFA) and the rollout of the new event name "Cultivate" (replacing "Short Course"), Mark Foertmeyer, the Chairman of the Board for AmericanHort, said, "This is not your grandfather's trade show. In fact, Cultivate is more than a trade show. It is a dynamic experience designed to offer interactive learning and community building, and it celebrates all of horticulture."
Amid greenhouse and garden center tours, a great music and outdoor eating event "Bloomapalooza," and the ever popular "Unplugged" event, Cultivate'14 concluded the show with more than 10,000 attendees, the event's best attendance in more than a decade.
Every corner of the Greater Columbus Convention Center was elaborately decorated with horticulture products donated by the association's members. More than 100 volunteers also donated their time throughout the four days by assisting with the setup, teardown, and the onsite logistics. At the conclusion of the convention, the remaining plants, trees, and hard goods were distributed to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. These included the Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens, Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, Franklin Park Conservatory, Habitat for Humanity, Homeport, Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, and the University of Cincinnati.
Looking for an exhibitor or speaker who was at the 2014 event? Click here to walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog.
2013 OFA Short Course
The last year to be called Short Course, the 2013 event debuted exciting news of an expansion: an additional 50,000 square feet of exhibit space for the Retail Terrace will be open at Cultivate'14.
Along with all the excitement going on at the Convention Center, we also included a full-day Garden Center Tour to the Toledo area, which included Hoen's Garden Center, Black Diamond Nursery, and Oak Park Land & Water.
The event was named the 147th largest trade show among all industries by the annual ranking by Trade Show News Network. This acknowledges Cultivate as the largest trade show in North America for garden center retailers, greenhouse and nursery growers, landscapers, florists, and interior plantscapers, and other industry sectors.
Looking for an exhibitor or speaker who was at the 2013 event? Click here to walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog.
2012 OFA Short Course
The 2012 OFA Short Course had everything good our members expect, including new plant introductions and fun exhibits like the living chess set and bloomin' bus from Meadow View Growers. But it also had a focus on doing good, as shown through a Pyramid Game that pitted trade magazine editors against one another and raised more than $8,000 for charity; The Burpee Home Gardens Grow Anywhere Tour Van that gave away 39,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and 13,000 vegetable plants to people living in “food deserts;” and the introduction of new Pink Ribbon plants to support breast cancer research.
Looking for an exhibitor or speaker who was at the 2012 event? Click here to walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog.