Star Roses & Plants Conard - Pyle Executives pictured with Susan Fox at IGC Show
Navy Pier Along the Chicago River with the Sears Tower in the Back Ground
Navy Pier Along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan with the Sears Tower in the Back Ground, Home of the Independent Garden Center Show

What do you think is the key that will draw people to your event? The Independent Garden Center (IGC) Show was held last week, at Navy Pier on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan where it meets the Chicago River. IGC Show Founders, Publishers, and Executive Directors Jeff and Cheryl Morey* their partner and Show Manager Carl Pugh hold the keys to the gardening kingdom.


The Morey’s IGC Show Management Team including Show Manager, Carl Pugh and Media Relations and Education Manager, Clint Albin put on a world-class event in an idyllic setting, showing people things they want to see, offering information they need to learn, all the while entertaining them and engaging a larger audience via social media.


The IGC show is the largest trade-show held for owners, buyers and managers in the gardening industry.This sold out show with 600 exhibitors from all 50 states and 20 countries, 40 speakers and a rock concert by 38 Special was top-notch. Now with over 7000 attendees in Chicago, the IGC Show will make its debut August 5-7, 2014 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center complex in National Harbor, Maryland on the Potomac River. 



The Keys To The Gardening Kingdom

Chicago SkylineIdyllic Setting


People want to attend a conference in a city where there are plenty of choices in what to do and see. Chicago offers visitors a beautiful city, museums and culture. It is easy to navigate and centrally located.


Vote | List What You Think Was The Most Exciting Exhibit | Display | Product at the Independent Garden Center Show 2013

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Engaging The Larger Audience VIA Social Media


Brenda Haas of #GardenChat and Steve Green of #FoodieChat
Brenda Haas of #GardenChat and Steve Green @stevegogreen of #FoodieChat at Dinotto’s Chicago for the #GardenChat Live #IGC Show Registered Press Party Monday, August 19th

Brenda Haas, of BG Garden and GardenChat fame set the stage Monday evening, Aug. 19th with GardenChat Live sponsored by Chicago Flower and Garden’s President, Tony Abruscato for the Independent Garden Center Show’s registered press at Dinotto’s Chicago. Volunteers that assisted with the event included LaManda Joy of The Peterson Garden Project, a Chicago based non-profit group committed to teaching people to grow their own food and build a stronger sense of community through planting urban vegetable gardens.

The talented, high energy Bren with Kerrie and Carol of The Seedkeeper Company kept action going with Live interviews and streaming video while attendees tweeted live coverage to their collective Twitter followers all evening building excitement for the show.

Joe Lamp'l, Joe Gardener, at Live GardenChat Event, Chicago
Joe Lamp’l, Joe Gardener, at Live GardenChat Event, Chicago

Growing A Greener World TV Celebrity Joe Lamp’l made an appearance delighting everyone with his warm easy-going style. Abana Jacobs, National Promotions Manager for Subaru, was also there. Subaru has been a sponsor of the IGC Show since 2007 via #SubaruGardens.

Star Roses & Plants Conard - Pyle Marketers Kyle McKean and Kajsa Haracz
Left to Right Susan Fox Star Roses & Plants Conard – Pyle Marketers Director of Marketing Kyle McKean and A-B-C Company PR Sr. Account Manager Kajsa Haracz

Marketing mavens for Star Roses & Plants Conard – Pyle, Kyle McKean, and PR & Sr. Account Executive for A-B-C Company Kajsa Haracz were also there along with the always effervescent Suzi McCoy of the Gardening Media Group and her team. Making the cover of the Chicago Tribune Lifestyles gardening cover girl Shawna Lee Coronado and Feature Writer for Indiana and Ohio Gardener Magazine Kylee Baumle, were among the distinguished cast of press present for the evening tweeting to their followers.


Garden Girl Rose Gloves
Garden Girl Rose Gloves a Gift At the Live GardenChat Event

Garden Girls USA generously donated a beautiful pair of their rose gloves to each attendee. And of course the humorous, entertaining Mike Nowak, columnist of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine and personality from “The Mike Nowak Show,” WCPT 820AM was at his best for the evening keeping everyone entertained. The power of social media and its effect was palpable in building excitement for the show the entire evening.This social initiative alone had an aggregated multiplier effect on Google Analytics of a reach in the millions to a targeted group of a real-time, live, fully engaged, gardening audience.

Miniature Roses
Miniature Roses Grown by a Local Grower

Your Local Garden Center For “Locavores”


You need look no further than the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Movement to see that people today are committed to support locally grown produce, foods and businesses in the country. 

The idea of committing to eating and buying products locally has become trendy in the last few years — so trendy in fact that the word “locavore” was chosen as the 2007 Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary. “Locavore” means a person whose diet consists only of or principally of locally grown food or produce.
Independent garden centers offer a variety of unique rather than mass produced products and options for products that can only be found at your independent garden centers. This show had artisans, craftsman, entrepreneurs, and a variety and new product launches that are simply not available anywhere else. 



P. Allen Smith at Proven Winner Booth at IGC Sho
P. Allen Smith at Proven Winner Booth at IGC Show

Information You Need and Want To Learn To Learn


Pottery, art, and landscape design were key elements of the show. Vendors and speakers at the show had inexpensive ways to dress up your home with touches of pottery, plants, shrubs, trees, and landscape art that decorator’s use as design elements. P. Allen Smith,  television host, of P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, and P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table and the syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Garden designer, gardening and lifestyle expert was very popular at the show, entertaining attendees with gardening tips and drawing crowds.

A Basket of Proven Winners
A Hanging Basket of Proven Winners

Proven Winners

At the Proven Winners booth. Mr. P. Allen Smith and his Chief Operating & Marketing Officer Mimi San Pedro effectively drew crowds of people as they professionally represented products, entertained and educated attendees. I was fortunate to be invited to The Chopping Block for the event hosted by Mr. P. Allen Smith where he entertained all of us with his sense of humor and style as he showed us his flare for cooking and engaging his audience.

Jump For Joy Floribunda Rose, available 2014 from Weeks Roses
Jump For Joy Floribunda Rose, available 2014 from Weeks Roses

Weeks Roses was there to launch their 2014 roses with their Sales & Marketing Manager Karen Kemp Docksteader and Social Media Strategist Anne Kemp.

Karen Kemp Docksteader, Weeks Roses, Sales & Marketing Manager
Karen Kemp Docksteader, Weeks Roses, Sales & Marketing Manager


Star Roses & Plants Conard – Pyle Popcorn Drift | Miniature Gardens are Big

Container gardening is big, very big. Since many people live in apartments, and condos or have limited space there were many options for smaller plantings with fun small gardens. Star Roses & Plants Conard – Pyle was their to present Popcorn Drift, which is specifically designed for smaller spaces.

Star Roses Popcorn Drift
Star Roses Popcorn Drift


Entertaining Venue


The Gardening/Landscaping Industry is Thriving

Figures vary, however some association figures have the gardening, landscapeand nursery industry upwards of $100 billion dollars. This fact is true, business appears to be ‘blooming.” The show had entertaining speakers and a free rock concert featuring 38 Special. Their greatest hit “Caught Up In You” is apropos. I think this group is very caught up in gardening and growing 🙂


Star Roses & Plants Conard - Pyle Executives pictured with Susan Fox at IGC Show
Left to Right Jacques Ferare, Star Roses & Plants Conard – Pyle Vice President License and New Business Development, Susan Fox, Steven B. Hutton, Chief Executive Officer Star Roses & Plants Conard – Pyle


*About IGC Show | Garden Centers of America

“It all began almost 60 years ago when a young fellow by the name of Dick Morey had a vision. He thought the garden center business was ready for its own magazine and, though he had no publishing experience, he thought he could make it a success. Success indeed! Today . . . Garden Chic and Nursery Retailer – now IGC Retailer are the leading trade magazines in the thriving $100 billion retail garden center marketplace. As second-generation innovators, Dick’s son Jeff and his wife Cheryl carry on the long-established tradition of editorial excellence. Now, with their launch of The IGC show in 2007 Jeff and Cheryl Morey have created a “town square” where the entire industry meets every year to buy and sell, exchange ideas and celebrate this business so many have grown to love and call their own.”

Kylee Baumle, Feature Writer Indiana and Ohio Gardener Magazine
Left to right Susan Fox with Kylee Baumle, Feature Writer Indiana and Ohio Gardener Magazine


Ch-Ching, Appropriate for The Growing Profitability of The Gardening and Landscape Business
Ch-Ching, Appropriate for The Growing and Ever Blooming Profitability of The Gardening and Landscape Business

8 thoughts on “The Keys to the Gardening Kingdom, at the IGC Show”

  1. It was wonderful to finally met you in person Susan after many years of tweetin’ with ya! IGCshow is a great place to connect with product providers as well as the gardeners who love to share using social media. I look forward to attending the event with you next year in Chicago!

    1. Dearest Bren,
      Thank-you so much for inviting me to attend your GardenChat Live event and to finally meet although we have been friends for so many years VIA social media. Your dynamism and hard work was evident through-out the entire show. Your charm, work ethic and high energy is contagious. It is a pleasure to work with you. It is no wonder GardenChat is so successful and continues to grow in popularity and numbers. And your event was such a wonderful launch for the show! Thank-you again Bren 🙂
      Warmest Regards,

  2. Dearest Susan, Meeting you at the exclusive P. Allen Smith dinner party was the best part of the evening—just behind the grilled nectarines with blue cheese! Oh! How I loved sharing that scrumptious dessert with you. What fun we had at that shared table, meeting new friends, sharing recipes and gardening tips! You were a joy to be with; Melvin and I enjoyed our time with you tremendously.
    It was even better the next day to run into you agian at the show! Like running in to an old friend! You are simply the best.
    If ever in Cincinnati do call us!
    Fondly, Mike Bourke

    1. Hi MIke,
      It was great to be invited to the exclusive P. Allen Smith event. I must say you and my dinner companions made the evening a total delight! And I shall never forget that taste treat that you so eagerly encouraged me to try, yummy! And that lovely wine to wash it down with. I’m not sure whether it was the nectarine or the blue cheese that I liked better 😉 Quite memorable for sure. Hopefully we will see each other at another show in the nearer future, maybe Chicago Flower and Garden. And old friend …you are simply the best 😉
      Warmest regards,

    1. Hi Kylee,
      It was so great to meet in person. I admire your work and writing so much. You continue to make such a delightful contribution to the gardening world. I do so appreciate your comment. Thank-you! 🙂
      Warmest regards,

  3. Susan—You are a constant source of inspiration. How wonderful to meet all of these movers and shakers in the plant world. Knowing you, you were also spreading the good news about the American Rose Society and all that it has to offer. Your contributions to the gardening world and to me, personally, are greatly appreciated. You greatly inspire me to learn more and to try different methods of gardening. Keep doing what you do so well!

    1. Dear Sue,
      As editor and publisher of ARS and You, the highly popular newsletter with a circulation of 8000 members of the American Rose Society and beyond I must say you are a constant source of inspiration to me. The joy of gardening and rose growing in particular give back so much to me and sharing what I know with people only increases my knowledge while expanding a sense of friendship and camaraderie. Gardeners are wonderful people. Thank-you for your thoughts and support Sue. It means so much to me.
      Yours Truly,

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